Ex-Sunderland footballer Adam Johnson is set to spend time in prison having been found guilty on one charge of sexual touching.
Adam Johnson, whose contract was terminated on the first day of the trial after he pleaded guilty to two other charges, was told by the judge to “say goodbye to your daughter” as his preliminary assessment is that such a crime is worthy of a prison sentence between four and ten years.
The disgraced sportsman, 28, had denied all four charges against him leading up to his trial but changed his plea on the very first day on two of the charges, grooming and one count of sexual activity. He was cleared of the fourth charge.
The victim, a 15 year old Sunderland fan, released a statement calling this “the hardest year” she had ever faced and highlighted how “let down” she felt by Johnson for his actions.
The court heard how Johnson met with the fan on 30th January 2015 to sign shirts.
Left alone in his car, the former England winger admitted to kissing the teenager but insisted it “went no further”.
The victim, however, contradicted this saying that she carried out oral sex on him and he “put his hands down her pants”. He was cleared on the oral sex charge but was found guilty by the jury with a 10-2 majority on the charge of sexual touching.
Sunderland AFC are now also under scrutiny as it has now been revealed that the club knew about these activities for a year before terminating their contract with the player.
The club, however, insist that they were merely sticking by their player as he had denied all charges and dropped him as soon as they realised that he admitted guilt.
Durham Police say that Margaret Byrne chief executive of the club, was informed by them in March of Johnson’s actions.
Johnson is considering appealing the guilty decision and is believed to be consulting his legal team.
To overturn the decision he would have to convince a panel of three judges that there is a reason his verdict should be considered “unsafe”.
He has been given bail until his sentencing hearing in three weeks time, at which point the player is expected to face a lengthy time inside as any appeal won’t be able to happen before then.