Former Sunderland and England wingerAdam Johnson has been jailed for six years for sexual activity with a child.
Johnson will serve at least three years after being found guilty of sexual touching a 15-year-old girl. He admitted another charge of sexual activity with a child and grooming, but was cleared of one charge relating to another sexual act.
The 28-year-old has been stripped of his 12 England caps.
Johnson showed no emotion as he was sentenced at Bradford Crown Court by Judge Jonathan Rose, who said the girl had “suffered severe psychological harm”.
The judge said the victim had been a Sunderland fan who would wait after matches to take pictures of her “favourite player”, Johnson, who had known her age, while he revealed Johnson had exchanged more than 800 messages with her, which had largely been innocent.
But he added: “You continued in your grooming of this girl even after you were engaged in sexual activity with her. You wanted no one to know that you and she were exchanging messages.
“You asked her to find a place to meet that was private and secluded so no one would see you in her company.”
Judge Rose told Johnson the offences happened “at a time when you were engaged in frequent sexual intercourse with multiple partners”.
He said: “You made a deliberate decision to engage in sexual activity with this young girl, no doubt in the expectation that you would get away with it.
“Your future as a professional footballer must be in doubt.”
The judge also revealed the young girl had reached her “lowest ebb” after giving evidence in the trial.
He added: “She speaks of entering many dark places in that year and said she had suffered bullying and stress and had underachieved at school as a result of the case.
She had suffered sadness, anger and confusion which had been “exasperated” because of the footballer’s status and standing, he said.
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