Adam Johnson’s schoolgirl accuser broke down in court today as she told how she tried to cover up her alleged se xual liaison with the footballer as she was worried he would lose his career.
Appearing in court by video link, the girl wept during questioning by Johnson’s barrister, Orlando Pownall QC, as she gave evidence for the first time.
She became upset as she explained how she panicked when rumours began to circulate about what she and Johnson are claimed to have done.
Speaking this afternoon, the teenager said: ‘I was concerned because I didn’t want him to lose his career or anything. I wasn’t bothered about myself in it all.’
Adam Johnson arrived for the second day of his trial on child sex charges today without his girlfriend. The court was played a recording of a police interview carried out with his teenaged accuser
She insisted she was trying to contain the situation so no-one would find out what happened, concerned that Johnson – with whom she exchanged messages online before meeting in his car – ‘wouldn’t lose everything’.
However, she agreed with Mr Pownall that ‘everything spiralled out of control’.
The teenager said: ‘I was worried about everyone finding out about it. I was trying to cover the whole thing up.’
The girl sobbed as she explained what she had told her friends about what happened with Mr Johnson. Judge Jonathan Rose then adjourned the case for the day.
She had struggled through tears earlier on in today’s hearing as she told police she performed oral sex on the England star, knowing she ‘had done something wrong’.
Video recordings of two police interviews with the girl were played at the former Sunderland player’s trial at Bradford Crown Court today, before she was cross-examined via a video link.
Asked in the first interview how she felt about the alleged se xual activity, the girl said: ‘As much as I expected it to happen, I was a bit shocked it had. I sort of knew I had done something wrong.’
The girl accusing Adam Johnson, pictured arriving at court today, told police that he knew her age and her date of birth
In the second interview, the girl gave more detail about what had happened and tearfully described the se x act.
She said Johnson twice pulled her hand towards his pe nis, which she referred to as his ‘thingy’. She added: ‘I felt awkward if I pulled my hand away. I felt compelled to do it.’
Johnson, 28, denies two counts of se xual activity with the girl, who was 15-years-old at the time of the alleged incident.
The footballer’s girlfriend, Stacey Flounders, was not alongside him today as he arrived at court for the second day of his trial today.
The jury watched the alleged victim’s police interviews today, during which she first described how Johnson was her favourite player and she was star-struck when they starting communicating.
She said: ‘I got a message from Sunderland player Adam Johnson who I’d idolised for quite a while.’
The girl said that, after exchanging messages, she first met-up with Johnson on January 17 last year when he signed two Sunderland shirts for her.
She then explained how the player continued to message her, talking about getting a ‘thank you kiss’.
‘I was well up for it. It was a surreal type of thing,’ she told the police officer.
‘I met up with him again. I gave him his thank you kiss and more,’ she said.
The girl described how Johnson exchanged WhatsApp messages with her after their first meeting, saying ‘you owe me for this’ and ‘am I going to get a thank you kiss?’.
The teenager said that at the second meeting, in the player’s Range Rover, Johnson said to her: ‘I’ve come for my thank you kiss.’
She said that she eventually told him ‘go on then’, and they began kissing.
The girl said: ‘I was kissing him for quite a while.
‘He undid the button on my trousers. It took him a while to do that,’ she said. ‘He got his hand down my trousers. He started to put his hands in my knickers.’
Later in the interview, the police officer asked the girl what Johnson knew about her.
Stacey Flounders has stood by her partner despite hearing claims he texted his alleged victim at the same time he was messaging her about their daughter
She replied that the player knew how old she was, what school year she was in and where she sat at Sunderland matches. She said Johnson also knew her date of birth.
She said: ‘He asked me when I was 16.’
The jury were then played a second police interview in which the teenager alleged more serious se xual contact at the same meeting she had previously spoken about six weeks earlier.
She added: ‘When we were kissing he had hold of my hand for a while then moved it over towards his thingy.’
In the second interview, the girl described how she performed oral se x on the footballer.
She said: ‘He put my hand there he put his hand on my back and pushed me downwards.’
The girl told the officer: ‘He said if I kept on going he would have to have s ex with us and stuff like that.
The woman police officer asked her how she felt. She said: ‘Not very good. I was disappointed in myself.’
The girl, who appeared to be wearing school uniform during this second interview at a police station in Durham, became tearful as she told the officer how she was feeling.
She had earlier described how she had tried to block out the allegedly incident.
The girl said she continued messaging Johnson and he tried to arrange for them to meet up again, but she made up excuses or cancelled at the last minute in an effort to avoid him.
She said: ‘I didn’t want the meetings, but I still wanted the contact. It was good going to the match knowing he had text me earlier.’
When the officer asked her why she did not mention oral sex in the first interview, she said that there was evidence on text messages to back up everything else she said but not this.
She also said that rumours had begun to circulate about the other se xual activity but not about this.
She said she was worried that talking about it ‘would only make it worse’. She added: ‘It was bad enough already.’
The teenager told the officer how she told her father about what happened because ‘I was getting upset’. She added: ‘I don’t like hiding things from my mum and dad.’
After the girl’s interviews were played to court, Johnson’s lawyer, Orlando Pownall QC, cross-examined the girl, who appeared via a live video-link. Mr Pownall asked her why she had told friends to lie about what happened.
She said: ‘I didn’t want the police to find out about it. I just wanted it to be forgotten about. I was panicking about it. I was trying to cover the whole thing up.
‘I didn’t want him to lose his career. It wasn’t about myself. I was ready to face my problems. I don’t run away from my problems. I was trying to protect him so he wouldn’t lose everything.
Johnson’s girlfriend Ms Flounders has been dating Johnson since 2012. She was pregnant at the time of the alleged offences
And the teenager added: ‘I was scared that people wouldn’t believe me… I didn’t want to believe that it had happened.’
The teenager told the jury: ‘I tried to forget about it. I was trying to live normally.’
The court also heard she told friends about her sexual encounters with Johnson at a party on January 31, the day after she had met the footballer for the second time.
But when rumours about her and Johnson began to get out she insisted it was a joke.
The teenager could be seen sobbing on the screens in court about an hour into Mr Pownall’s cross-examination. Judge Jonathan Rose ordered a 10-minute break in proceedings.
Johnson’s girlfriend Ms Flounders has been supporting her boyfriend, with whom she has a child, ever since his arrest for sexual activity with a child.
Even after he admitted two offences last week, she arrived at his side for the first day of his trial for two further offences on Friday.
But the 26-year-old did not arrive with Johnson at Bradford Crown Court today.
The England midfielder is accused of abusing ‘his revered position in society’ when he had se xual contact with the teenager ‘in a way that he knew was both morally and legally wrong’.
He is charged with two counts of se xual activity with a child.
Johnson, who denies the charges, was contacted by the girl via Facebook and the two began exchanging messages before they finally met so he could sign shirts for her.
Johnson, who has previously appeared for England, was sacked by his club Sunderland after his admissions
Johnson has already admitted one count of sexual activity with a child and another of meeting a child following sexual grooming.
Ms Blackwell said: ‘The Crown’s case is that he is guilty of further and more serious sexual activity.’
The court heard on Friday that the former £50,000-a-week Sunderland winger sent a message to the schoolgirl saying he ‘just wanted to get your jeans off’ just seconds before he told his girlfriend their baby ‘looks class’.
Prosecutor Kate Blackwell QC said that, around the time of the alleged offences, his partner Stacey Flounders had sent Johnson a picture of their young daughter with a text that said: ‘How cute is she here?’
The Crown allege that within the same minute, Johnson sent a message to the underage girl saying, ‘just wanted to get your jeans off’ before replying to his partner, ‘yes she looks class, she’s changing all the time,’ referring to his daughter.
The trial continues.