The demise of Adam Johnson
By Diane Cooke
Former Sunderland footballer Adam Johnson was jailed for six years in 2016 for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old schoolgirl in a “calculated, considered and carefully orchestrated” abuse of his celebrity status.
Johnson, 28 at the time, showed no emotion as he was imprisoned for kissing and sexually touching the teenage girl, whom prosecutors said he groomed in a “single-minded pursuit of his own sexual gratification”.
Johnson, who was sacked by Sunderland and stripped of his 12 England caps, admitted kissing and grooming the besotted fan and was later found guilty of a more serious child sexual assault.
Sentencing him, the judge, Jonathan Rose, said he had abused his position of trust with a girl 12 years his junior in a way that had caused her “severe psychological harm”.
Johnson had been arrested previously for possessing extreme pornography – believed to be a bestiality video – on his laptop.
A subsequent appeal was rejected later that year. His sister Faye Johnson had set up a 'Justice for Johnson' campaign for her brother, which drew criticism after she encouraged social media users to change their profile photos to support the 28-year-old's appeal.
In the meantime his ex-girlfriend Stacey Flounders, who stuck by him during the investigation, but finished with him when he was sent to prison, started dating another ex-convict footballer Bolton Wanderers' striker Gary Madine in April last year, according to the Daily Mail.
Johnson was reportedly 'absolutely choked' at the news, as he had wanted to rebuild their relationship when he was released from prison in two years.
A product of the Middlesbrough youth academy, Johnson came to prominence after making his debut aged 17 in a UEFA Cup match. He made 120 appearances for Middlesbrough, also spending time on loan at Leeds United and Watford.
In February 2010 he moved to Manchester City, where he won the FA Cup in 2011 and the Premier League the following season. He was signed by his hometown club Sunderland for £10 million in 2012. Johnson played at various levels for England, earning 12 caps at senior level.