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Adam Johnson's bestiality porn shame revealed as child sex footballer given six years in jail

By Paul Gallagher and Dave Higgens

The former England footballer Adam Johnson was jailed for six years yesterday for grooming and engaging in sexual activity with a 15-year-old girl - and it can now be revealed he was also arrested for possessing extreme pornography.

Restrictions were lifted which had prevented the reporting of the 28-year-old's arrest in relation to the images, thought to be bestiality-related, found on his computer.

The arrest was mentioned in hearings at Durham Crown Court prior to Johnson's trial.

Durham Police confirmed he has been released from his bail on that issue and no further action will be taken.

The pre-trial hearings also heard how police found medicines in a safe when Johnson, capped 12 times for his country, was arrested last May which indicated he may have been suffering from sexually transmitted infections.

Sentencing the ex-Sunderland player at Bradford Crown Court, Judge Jonathan Rose told Johnson he had abused a position of trust and caused his victim "severe psychological harm".

He told the player that the offences happened "at a time when you were engaged in frequent sexual intercourse with multiple partners".

Johnson met the girl after agreeing to sign football shirts for her.

On January 30 last year, the footballer took the girl in his Range Rover to a secluded spot in County Durham where he kissed and sexually touched her.

Having already pleaded guilty to grooming and one charge of sexual activity, he was found guilty of sexual touching and cleared of one charge relating to another sexual act.

The judge said Johnson had lied repeatedly, referring to the controversy over whether he delayed his guilty pleas to enable him to continue his £60,000-a-week career with Sunderland.

Between the time of his arrest last year and guilty pleas at the start of his trial last month the midfielder had earned £3m in wages.

Judge Rose said: "You lied about the nature and extent of your contact with her, and you lied then and throughout the months which followed about the level of your sexual activity with her.

"Little wonder that by the time of this trial she had, in her words, endured a year of abuse, of being called a liar and other more graphic insults, and was deeply upset by what you had done to her and by her treatment, such that she required counselling and such that she reached the lowest ebb after she gave evidence."

Johnson showed no emotion as he listened to the judge deliver the damning verdict.

Part of the teenager's victim impact statement was read out in court.

"This whole experience has been overwhelming. Through the process I have had many hard times," prosecution QC Kate Blackwell said on the girl's behalf.

The victim's schoolwork had suffered "massively" and the girl had been bullied because of Johnson's actions.

Earlier, the judge outlined how various medical professionals had agreed he suffered from "compulsive sexual behaviour". According to the judge, Johnson told a psychiatrist: "I treated (the teenager) like any of the girls I met.

"I put her age out of my mind. I was sexually interested but she was just another girl, another opportunity. She was attractive enough. Another one to get with."

The judge said to him: "When you had moved to play for Manchester City you embarked on an extensive social life which involved sexual activity on a very frequent basis with a number of different partners, even when you were ostensibly in a settled relationship.

"You do not suffer from any mental illness but are described as having a very high libido. And you have a tendency to engage in sexual activity to a compulsive degree."

The judge said Johnson, who ran past photographers into the court building but sauntered into the dock chewing gum, will need treatment for his sexual problems.

Kate Blackwell QC, prosecuting, had told the judge that Johnson had a history of meeting girls for sex, describing it as a "clandestine habit".

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