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Summary

  1. Adam Johnson guilty of sexual activity with child
  2. Judge warns former footballer jail term is 'inevitable'
  3. Jury cleared him of one count earlier
  4. Former winger previously admitted grooming schoolgirl

Live Reporting

By Rebecca Turner

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage across the day

Rebecca Turner

BBC North East

Our live coverage has now finished for the day, a day in which former Sunderland, Man City and Middlesbrough footballer Adam Johnson was warned he faces a long prison sentence for sexual activity with a schoolgirl. 

The 28-year-old, who'd previously pleaded guilty to grooming and kissing the 15-year-old fan, was today found guilty of sexual touching. He was cleared of a further count of sexual activity.

Here is the full story of what happened:

Adam Johnson leaves court
Getty Images

We'll be back tomorrow from 08:00 for more updates from across the North East. We hope you can join us then.  

Grooming victims 'can suffer traumatising effect'

BBC Look North

North East and Cumbria

Young victims of grooming can suffer a "traumatising" effect when they are exploited, an expert says.

Following Adam Johnson's conviction for sexual activity with a child, Wendy Shepherd from Barnardo's spoke about the impact it can have.

She said: "(Victims are) still developing, they're still finding out about life. 

"They think they can do everything and they can cope with everything, and in reality they can't."

Wendy Shepherd
BBC

She added: "They're absolutely traumatised when they realise what's happened to them isn't a loving relationship, it's an exploitative relationship, they've been groomed and conned, and believe that they've been in love with this person, to find out actually they've been used. 

"That is a devastation to those young people."

Adam Johnson 'knew what he was doing was wrong'

Footballer Adam Johnson went to "great lengths" to try and cover up his sexual activity with a schoolgirl, prosecutors say.

Gerry Wareham, chief crown prosecutor for CPS North East, said: "Adam Johnson knew that what he was doing was wrong and went to great lengths to hide it. 

"He encouraged his young victim to delete any traces of their online contact and, when she reported what had happened to police, he initially claimed to be unaware of her true age and told police that he had only ever kissed her. 

"While he eventually admitted to those charges for which there was overwhelming documentary evidence, he continued to deny the true extent of their sexual contact."

Local newspapers react to Adam Johnson verdict

Footballer's humble beginnings to 'arrogant and promiscuous'

During the trial, Adam Johnson's own QC told jurors they may well agree with the prosecution's portrayal of his client as "immature, arrogant, promiscuous".

He made his senior debut as a 17-year-old substitute in Boro's 1-0 Uefa Cup defeat by Sporting Lisbon, and from there his career went from strength to strength: 

Adam Johnson data pic
BBC

Coming from humble beginnings, Johnson found himself on a £60,000-a-week wage packet, owning luxury cars with personalised plates and an £1.8m, six-bedroom mansion in Castle Eden, County Durham.  

Adam Johnson data pic
BBC

Teenage victim's statement: 'I feel used and let down'

Adam Johnson's victim has told of her idolisation of the former Sunderland footballer.

In a statement read out by Det Con Kimberly Walton outside Bradford Crown Court, she said: "He was my hero. I attended the home games whenever I could.

"I was overwhelmed by all of this. This was my favourite player and he was texting me. I felt used and let down by him. 

"I was made out to be a liar, if anything, I held things back because I didn't want all of this to come out. 

"What happened in his car has turned my life upside down. I have lost all of my confidence. My school work has suffered. 

"The gossip on social media and hearing all of the horrible names that people have been calling me has been devastating to me, my friends and my family."

Video: Johnson 'refuses to apologise to schoolgirl victim'

BBC Look North

North East and Cumbria

Watch the moment Adam Johnson refuses to apologise to a schoolgirl he groomed and sexually abused.

As he left court after being found guilty of one count of sexual activity with the 15-year-old, the disgraced former Sunderland footballer ignored our reporter who asked if he would say sorry to his victim.

See the footage here.

Adam Johnson leaving court
Getty Images

Victim tells of 'hurt and damage' caused by Johnson

In her statement, Adam Johnson's young victim also said: "I feel sad for Stacey (Johnson's former partner and mother of his child) and what she has been through.

"I hope Adam realises the hurt and damage he has caused.

"I hope I can move on from this and look to the future."

Adam Johnson's teenage victim says 'I've felt so broken'

The true impact of Adam Johnson's behaviour on his young teenage victim was revealed outside court.

Det Con Kimberly Walton read out a statement from the schoolgirl following the guilty verdict for the former Sunderland winger.

It said: "There have been times when I've wanted to hide away from the world. There have been times I haven't felt able to face people.

"There have been times when I've tried not to show people how upset I am, but sometimes it hasn't been possible and I'd just cry. I've felt so broken."

Analysis: 'Is Adam Johnson arrogant, stupid, or immature?'

Peter Harris

BBC Look North

Is Adam Johnson arrogant, stupid or immature? All three were suggested in court and when he took to the witness box he owned up to each one.

Yet Johnson's demeanour was not of the swaggering, millionaire footballer.

His voice was soft and low and at one point he appeared close to tears as he spoke of letting down his partner, Stacey Flounders.

He said he was "embarrassed", and he had not been a good partner to her and their newborn baby.

When it was her turn to give evidence and she was asked if she saw any future for their relationship, he sat head bowed as she replied: "Not at the minute, no."

Video: Footballer's downfall after carpark meeting

Adam Johnson's career in profile

Rebecca Turner

BBC North East

Here's Adam Johnson's football career in numbers:

  • Career appearances - 375
  • Career goals - 58
  • Began his career as a trainee with Middlesbrough in 2004
  • Made his Premier League debut on 10 September 2005 against Arsenal
  • Signed for Manchester City in February 2010 in a £7m transfer from Middlesbrough
  • His first of 12 England caps was on 24 May 2010 against Mexico at Wembley
  • Won the FA Cup and Premier League with Manchester City in consecutive seasons
  • Returned to the North East of England on 24 August 2012 after signing with Sunderland for a fee of £10m

Adam Johnson playing for England
Getty Images

'Footballers aren't mature in terms of life or social skills'

Catherine Lee

BBC News online

Like many professional footballers, Johnson was born into a working class background.

But did his rise to prominence, being cheered on by thousands of fans week in, week out, go to his head? 

Sports psychologist Carole Seheult says that it is not uncommon for this to happen. 

"Just because they are talented footballers doesn't mean they are any more mature in terms of life or social skills," she said.

"They are not necessarily able to make good decisions about who they should befriend or conduct their lives and relationships.

"I don't think the rarefied atmosphere of the changing rooms, with a lot of young men indulging in daring talk and bigging things up, is good for them either.

"They have got money and want to have fun and live life in the fast lane, but don't necessarily see the dangers of it."

Johnson 'exploited his position as a local hero'

Adam Johnson was "living most schoolboys’ dreams of playing professional football for his hometown club", police said.

But in a statement read outside Bradford Crown Court, Det Insp Aelfwynn Sampson said that he "exploited his position as a local hero to take advantage of a young and impressionable girl".

'Adam Johnson failed as a role model'

She added: “This was not a case where he didn’t know how old a girl was. 

"From the start of their contact, he knew full well that she had just turned 15 and yet this did not stop him."

Footballer 'used celebrity to groom impressionable schoolgirl'

Adam Johnson "cynically used his celebrity status" to sexually abuse a schoolgirl, the NSPCC says.

A spokesman said: "Even though he was fully aware of her age he continued the relationship without any concern for the profound and damaging impact it might have on her.

“His behaviour throughout was inexcusable, made even worse by the fact his not guilty pleas forced his young victim to suffer the harrowing experience of giving evidence in court. 

"We hope she gets the appropriate help to recover from this dreadful episode and Johnson takes the time to reflect on how his predatory actions have caused so much anguish."

Click here for more information about the charity.

Johnson's fame took him to an audience with royalty

Rebecca Turner

BBC North East

Adam Johnson's fame as a footballer took him from a working class upbringing in County Durham to an audience with royalty as he represented his country.

At the official launch of The Football Association's National Football Centre, the now shamed former Sunderland winger met the Duchess of Cambridge.

Adam Johnson and the Duchess of Cambridge
Getty Images

The meeting took place at St George's Park in Burton-upon-Trent in 2012.

During his career, Johnson won the Premier League and FA Cup with Manchester City, as well as 12 caps for England.

Johnson told to 'say goodbye to your daughter'

Disgraced former footballer Adam Johnson must "say goodbye" to his daughter as he prepares for a possible jail sentence, a judge has told him.

Just before he left the dock, Judge Jonathan Rose told Johnson that being released on bail meant he could get his "affairs in order". 

 He said: "You can say goodbye to your daughter. A prison sentence will mean you will not see her for some time." 

Explaining his bail conditions, the judge said Johnson would be "well advised to stay well away from social media".

Adam Johnson's schoolgirl victim tells of abuse

The 15-year-old fan who was groomed by former Sunderland footballer Adam Johnson says the last 12 months have been "the hardest year of my life".

Det Con Kimberly Walton read out a statement from the victim outside Bradford Crown Court.

It said: "In the very beginning I always doubted people would believe me. It was surreal for me. He was my favourite footballer.

"He asked me straight away how old I was and I told him straight away I was 15.

"It's been the hardest year of my life. I had to face so much abuse ... I've lost all my confidence and my school work has suffered.

"People have made assumptions and I have been unable to defend myself publicly. I want to put all of this behind me." 

Johnson 'should not have played for club after arrest'

Nick Barnes

BBC Newcastle's Sunderland commentator

Adam Johnson was too valuable a playing asset and could have played a significant role in helping the club steer themselves away from relegation this season.

My personal view is that he should have been suspended on full pay, as I believe the club owed Johnson and the rest of the playing and backroom staff a duty of care; firstly in not exposing Johnson to taunts and chants from opposing fans labelling him a paedophile, and secondly in not placing his colleagues and staff in a position of having to be embarrassed by his situation, which in retrospect they could argue was unacceptable bearing in mind his guilty plea.

Adam Johnson reinstated in team 'following PFA meeting'

Adam Johnson was reinstated in the Sunderland team after initially being suspended following a meeting with the club and the PFA, it has emerged.

The club said his suspension following his arrest in March last year was "appropriate at that time, even though he had not then been charged with any offence".

But two weeks later, the suspension was lifted after a meeting between the club and the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) and after 'independant legal advice'.

A club statement said they "reached this decision only after carrying out a safeguarding assessment and liaising with relevant agencies". 

Sunderland 'only heard of guilty pleas through the media'

Before pleading guilty to grooming and kissing a 15-year-old fan, winger Adam Johnson continued to play for Sunderland.

In court evidence was heard that suggested club bosses knew he would admit the offences.

However, the club say they thought he was planning to contest all the charges, a stance he maintained right up until the first day of his trial.

In a statement, Sunderland AFC said they "only became aware of the change of plea, in relation to two of the four counts on the indictment, on the first day of the trial, after hearing it reported through the media".

It adds: "The club was not advised in advance that Mr Johnson would plead guilty to any offence. Had the club known that Mr Johnson intended to plead guilty to any of these charges, then his employment would have been terminated immediately."

SAFC 'left themselves open to accusations of being blind'

Nick Barnes

BBC Newcastle's Sunderland commentator

Adam Johnson has been found guilty of a child sex offence and cleared of a further charge, after he also admitted sexual activity and grooming the schoolgirl.

Following his arrest, Johnson continued to earn £60,000 a week playing for Sunderland AFC until his last-minute guilty plea - an admission which saw him accused of waiting until the court case began so he could maximise his career and earnings.

I feel the club left itself open to accusations of being blind to the seriousness of the charges brought against him.

I don't accept the argument that suspending him is an indication of guilt.

By definition electing to go to trial means there is a doubt over the outcome so therefore the club should have taken the stance 'if in doubt leave him out'.

Sunderland AFC deny claims over playing Adam Johnson

Sunderland AFC have "refuted in the strongest possible terms" any suggestion they let Adam Johnson play for the club while knowing he would plead guilty to child sex charges.

The disgraced former winger was suspended when he was arrested last season but reinstated and helped the club avoid relegation.

He was sacked on the eve of his trial after pleading guilty to one count of sexual activity with a child and one charge of grooming.

Adam Johnson
AFP

But a club statement said: "It is understood that a suggestion was made that the club knew all along that Mr Johnson was intending to change his plea just before trial to enable him to continue to play football for the club and that the club may also have been involved in tactical discussions about the plea. 

"This is utterly without foundation and is refuted in the strongest possible terms. The club never placed any pressure or demands on Mr. Johnson to play football during this process."

Adam Johnson: Analysis of a career in tatters

Phil McNulty

BBC Sport chief football writer

Adam Johnson was a highly gifted but inconsistent player who failed to fulfil the potential that saw him win a Premier League title medal with Manchester City in 2011-12 and persuaded Sunderland to pay £10m to sign him later that year.

Blessed with pace and unpredictability, as well as the knack for a spectacular goal, he also should have done more on the international stage with England, for whom he won 12 caps but - as with his clubs - 

Johnson could never produce his natural gifts on a regular basis.

It would seem he is now lost to the game at the highest level forever without ever becoming the high-quality player many thought he had the capability to become.

Photos released of car Adam Johnson met 15-year-old girl in

Police have released photos of Adam Johnson's Range Rover which he used when meeting up with a 15-year-old schoolgirl. 

Adam Johnson's car
Durham Police
Johnson's car
Durham Police

Johnson had previously admitted kissing and grooming the girl in the car when they met in January last year.

Today he was found guilty of sexually touching the girl, but was cleared of another count of sexual activity in which the girl claimed she performed oral sex on him. 

Adam Johnson warned jail term 'almost inevitable'

Adam Johnson has been told a jail sentence is "the almost inevitable outcome" after he was convicted of sexual activity with a child.

Judge Jonathan Rose issued the warning as he granted Johnson bail until the sentencing hearing, which will be held at a later date. 

"There is a very high probability of a significant custodial sentence," judge said.

The judge said his preliminary view was that the case falls into the category of a five-year prison sentence with a range of four to 10 years.

There was no obvious reaction to the verdict from Johnson, who was sitting in the dock with two security guards.

Adam Johnson
Getty Images

Adam Johnson guilty of sexual activity with child

Former Sunderland footballer Adam Johnson has been convicted of one count of sexual activity with a child.

Adam Johnson
Durham Police

Johnson had previously admitted grooming and kissing the 15-year-old Sunderland fan, but denied two further counts of "more serious" sexual activity.

Today the jury found him guilty of sexually touching the girl. 

He was found not guilty of a second count, in which the girl claimed she'd performed oral sex on him.

BreakingAdam Johnson guilty of sexual activity with child

Former England footballer Adam Johnson has been found guilty of a further count of sexual activity with a child.

He was cleared of one count earlier this afternoon.

Adam Johnson jury told of meeting with schoolgirl

The jury has heard Adam Johnson met up with the girl on 30 January 2015 after agreeing to sign football shirts for her

The player admitted kissing the teenager but told the jury the encounter "went no further". 

The girl told the court the former winger "put his hands down her pants" and she performed oral sex on him. 

The jury has found him not guilty on the oral sex charge but are still deciding on a charge involving the sexual touching. 

Adam Johnson
Getty Images

Jury to continue Adam Johnson child sex charge deliberations

The jury in the trial of Adam Johnson has been sent out to continue deliberating on the remaining count of sexual activity with a child after he was cleared of one count.

BreakingAdam Johnson found not guilty of one count of sexual activity

Former Sunderland and Middlesbrough footballer Adam Johnson has been found not guilty of one count of sexual activity with a schoolgirl.  

Adam Johnson
PA

The jury has yet to reach a verdict on a second count of sexual activity.   

The 27-year-old had previously admitted to one count of sexual activity and grooming.  

Daggers and swords stolen from shop in Hartlepool

Daggers and samurai swords were stolen in a burglary at Mystic Magic in Murray Street in Hartlepool.

The raid happened between Monday night and early yesterday morning.

An attempted burglary also took place at The Phone Shop next door, but nothing was stolen.

Ben Gibson: Blackburn 'wanted' victory more than Boro

BBC Tees

BBC Tees Sport

Middlesbrough defender Ben Gibson says last night's defeat by Blackburn may be down to the fact they did not 'want' the victory as much as Rovers.

Boro missed the chance to go top of the Championship as they lost 2-1.

"A lot of us have got to take a long hard look at ourselves. We should never lose a game because we didn't want it as much as the opposition and I don't think we did," Gibson told BBC Tees.

Ben Gibson
Allsport/Getty Images

BreakingMan held on suspicion of murder following Eston man's death

BBC Tees

www.bbc.co.uk/BBCTees

A 22-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder following the death of a man in Eston.

Cleveland Police say they believe the 22-year-old who died is Lee Pettite from Woodcock Close in Bankfields, but formal identification has not yet taken place. 

He was found with "serious and significant" chest injuries after he staggered to Oakley Walk in Eston where he was treated by paramedics, police said.

Two held after youths found on health centre roof

Two teenagers have been arrested after a break in at the Elswick Health Centre in Newcastle.

The building in Meldon Street was broken into at about 21:00 yesterday, and police attended and found two youths on the roof.

They tried to get them down but they started throwing objects at the officers and passers-by.

A small cordon was set up around the area. Later two 14-year-olds were held on suspicion of burglary.

Video: Watch former NUFC player score wondergoal

BBC Sport

With 100 days to go before the start of Euro 2016, BBC Sport looks back at 10 great goals scored in the European Championship.

It includes a rather famous goal scored by a former Newcastle and Middlesbrough midfielder...

Police 'extremely concerned' over missing Gateshead woman

Police are concerned about a missing Gateshead woman.

Susan Harland, 52, and from the Felling area, was last seen this morning at about 10:00 at Fewster Square.

Susan Felling
Northumbria Police

Police say they're extremely concerned for Susan's welfare and are appealing for her to contact them, or her family, as soon as possible.

She is believed to be wearing jeans, a grey jumper with a heart on the front and a grey padded jacket which has fur on the hood.

McClaren says NUFC 'are most frustrating team he's managed'

BBC Sport

Steve McClaren has described Newcastle as "the most frustrating side I've ever worked with".  

The Magpies are 18th in the Premier League, having won six games and lost 14 this season.

McClaren said it was "one extreme to the other" as his side were "fantastic" in beating West Brom last month, seven days before losing 5-1 to Chelsea.

Steve McClaren
Getty Images

McClaren, 54, has also managed Middlesbrough, FC Twente, Wolfsburg, Nottingham Forest, Derby and England.

Many of those spells have been marked by unpredictability. Last season, Derby topped the Championship in February after eight wins in 11 games, only to finish eighth after winning just two of their last 13 matches.

Newcastle are away at Stoke tonight in the Premier League.

Can you help us name these llamas?

Rebecca Turner

BBC North East

Our colleagues at BBC Look North have shared this photo today of some Llamas that they took while filming in Teesdale.

They've invited people to help name them.

3 Llamas
BBC

So far, suggestions have included Wolfgang, Shredder, Betty, Gary, Mark and Howard.

If you'd like to add your suggestion, you can do so here on Facebook.