Teen groomed by 'creepy' Adam Johnson admits bragging to friends about Range Rover meetings
The girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, wept over video link as she was cross-examined by Orlando Pownall, Johnson's barrister, at Bradford Crown Court today,The former SAFC winger is charged with two counts of sexual activity with a child.Last week, he entered guilty pleas to meeting a child following sexual grooming, and one count of sexual activity with a child.The girl concerned in all charges told jurors that she "did not want to go to police" or tell her parents - but she did so after rumours began to circulate about her and the footballer.Mr Pownall alleged that the girl was trying to protect herself, not Johnson, as the news began to spread throughout her friends and people she knew.But the teenager maintained that she did not care about herself, only saving her idol's reputation.
Jurors also heard that the girl failed to tell police during her first interview that there had been a third meeting planned between her and Johnson, and about one of the sex acts which allegedly took place between them.She said: "I didn't get in [any more] trouble with the police - the only person who would benefit from [me keeping it a secret] was him."It didn't benefit me at all. The only person it benefits from them not finding out was him."She continued: "I was made out to be a liar for a year. People called me a liar."When asked by Johnson's barrister if she was still trying to protect him, she said: "No, because he did nothing to protect me, he made me out to be a liar."
When questioned by Mr Pownall about a social media post sent out by the girl talking about her meetings with Johnson, she admitted that she was "trying to big herself up" - but argued that it was what "any other 15-year-old would do".She added: "When you idolise someone and that happens to you, you aren't thinking at the time."
The jury heard that the girl posted in a social media group that she thought Johnson was "creepy".She said: "I thought he was slightly [creepy] by some of the messages he was sending me."I thought as soon as I told him my age he would back off but he didn't. Who just asks for a random fan's number?"
Jurors heard that the girl recorded a video during her second meeting with Johnson - which reportedly was pointed at his car radio, and captured his voice talking about football.Mr Pownall asked why she would record such footage if she was trying to "protect" Johnson.The court also heard that the girl sent a message to a friend describing what she and Johnson had done together."The only time I realised I had to protect him was when everyone found out, and my mam and dad knew," the girl said in response."I didn't want him to lose everything. I blamed myself for it all."The girl also told jurors that she wanted to have the recording as proof that she had met with 28-year-old Johnson if anyone asked.She continued: "I was trying to brag and show off about it because how many other people could say it was happening to them?"I thought it was big and thought it was clever. I didn't see at the time, I feel stupid for not seeing."The court also heard that on both meetings with Johnson, the girl was accompanied en route by a friend.She insisted this was for both protection and convenience, not to show off, and said: "I have seen it on the telly where people go to meet someone and it's not actually them."[On the first meeting] I didn't know it was going to be him."Why would Adam Johnson just message me out of the blue? Why me? Why not any other fan?"Earlier in her evidence, which began yesterday, the girl denied claims from Mr Pownall that she decided to tell her parents after being "bothered" by Johnson cancelling a meeting.The pair met twice in Johnson's black Range Rover, and a third meeting was arranged for the day the girl later told her parents.In interview, the girl told police that she had made "excuses" not to meet the footballer when he asked on other occasions.Today in court, she said: "Why would I be bothered? I have cancelled on him loads of times."I wasn't bothered about seeing him all the time. The main thing I was concerned about was having contact with him."