Senior detective met Sunderland chief executive Margaret Byrne to discuss Johnson allegations after arrest, court told

Footballer Adam Johnson (right) arrives with an unidentified man at Bradford Crown Court for the start of the defence at his trial where he is accused of sexual activity with a child.
Footballer Adam Johnson (right) arrives with an unidentified man at Bradford Crown Court for the start of the defence at his trial where he is accused of sexual activity with a child.

The senior officer in charge of the Adam Johnson investigation met Sunderland AFC's chief executive to discuss the allegations and safeguarding of other young people, a court has heard.

The 28-year-old former Sunderland player, who has already admitted grooming and kissing a 15-year-old girl, began his evidence at Bradford Crown Court today where he stands accused of two more serious counts of sexual activity with a child.

Detective Inspector Aelfwynn Sampson of Durham Police was called to the stand this morning as the final prosecution witness.

Det Insp Sampson told jurors that on the day of Johnson's arrest she met with SAFC chief exec Margaret Byrne to inform her of the allegations facing the player.

"I disclosed the offences which Mr Johnson had been arrested for, and considered safeguarding for any other young people who may come into contact with him in his role as a professional footballer."

The senior officer said particulars of the offences were not discussed, as Johnson had not been interviewed. What he said in interview was still not disclosed to the club.

Det Insp Sampson also confirmed that former SAFC player Conor Wickham had a number of pictures of his Instagram account "liked" by the girl involved in the case.

While being cross-examined by Johnson's defence barrister, Orlando Pownall QC, the officer confirmed the footballer was of "previous good character"'and added that "no further person has come forward" in relation to allegations against him.

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