Tuesday, April 2, 2019

BBC: Adam Johnson: Disgraced footballer 'deeply sorry'

Former England footballer Adam Johnson has said he is "deeply sorry" for the actions which led to him be jailed for child sex offences.

The former Sunderland, Middlesbrough and Manchester City star was jailed for six years in 2016 for engaging in sexual activity with a 15-year-old fan.

The 31-year-old was released from prison on 22 March after serving half of his prison term.

He said he regretted the effect his conduct had on those involved.

Johnson was jailed after admitting two charges relating to kissing the girl and meeting her with intent after grooming her.

Sunderland terminated his £60,000-a-week contract immediately following his admission of guilt.

He is understood to have returned to his home in Castle Eden, near Peterlee in County Durham.

In the statement to the Press Association, Johnson apologised to friends and family and thanked any members of the public that supported him.

He said: "I am very sorry for the effect my conduct had on those directly and indirectly involved.

"It should never have happened and I deeply regret what I did.

"I now want to concentrate on the future and want to demonstrate through my actions that I am committed to repaying them for their support."

Asked whether the future for Johnson meant a return to football, his father Dave Johnson said "no comment".

As a sex offender, Johnson has to register his address and bank details with police and inform officers of any intention to travel out of the country.

During sentencing, Judge Jonathan Rose said the victim had "suffered severe psychological harm" and accused Johnson of having repeatedly lied.