Adam Johnson trial witness: I didn't think he could be a paedophile

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Premier League footballer Adam Johnson would be a "bit of a paedophile" for going after a 15-year-old girl, a court heard today.

A teenager told the jury she didn't initially believe her friend's claims of having a sexual encounter with the former Sunderland and England star, who has admitted sexual activity with the now 16-year-old girl in his black Range Rover.

But the girl told Bradford Crown Court her friend then showed her messages on her phone from the 28-year-old father of one.

When asked why she didn't believe her friend, the girl said: "Cos he's, however old he is. And why would he? He's a bit of a paedophile if he's going for a 15... Kids and that."

Johnson has pleaded guilty to grooming the girl between December 30, 2014 and February 26, 2015, and sexual activity with her on January 30, 2015.

But the footballer, who has been capped 12 times for his country, has denied two further counts of sexual activity with a child.

The victim - a football fan - had an "enormous crush on him" but he "abused his position in society" after the two began exchanging messages on social media, it is alleged.

They initially met up so he could personally sign football shirts for the girl, the court heard.

After this first meeting, the two joked in their messages about whether Johnson deserved a "thank you kiss" and they met again - when the sexual activity is alleged to have taken place.

After the girl showed her friends the messages and discussed it with them, the news spread like wildfire on Facebook and around her school. She eventually told her parents and police were called in.

A second friend of the girl also gave evidence, claiming she and Johnson were planning to meet and have sex in his car. The meeting did not take place, however, after the footballer messaged the girl to say he couldn't think of an excuse to leave his house and girlfriend, Stacey Flounders.

"She had come over to see Adam and then he did not show up. So she was mad at him," the witness said.

"That was the same night she told her mam and dad."

Johnson has since been sacked by Sunderland. The trial continues.

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