Children's charity slams 'dreadful' acts of 'predatory' Adam Johnson - and urges other young people to stay safe
A leading children's charity has urged other young people to "speak out and stay safe" after Adam Johnson was found guilty of sexually activity with an underage girl.
The former Sunderland footballer, who played for SAFC at the time of the offences, was found guilty of one charge and not guilty of another at Bradford Crown Court yesterday.
He had already pleaded guilty to grooming and sexual activity with a child under 16. Read more here. He awaits sentencing.
The NSPCC has slammed Johnson's "dreadful" actions and urged others not to fall victim to sexual predators who may use their position to prey on children.
A spokesman for the charity said: "Adam Johnson cynically used his celebrity status as a professional footballer to groom and sexually abuse an impressionable schoolgirl.
"Even though he was fully aware of her age he continued the relationship without any concern for the profound and damaging impact it might have on her.
"His behaviour throughout was inexcusable, made even worse by the fact his not guilty pleas forced his young victim to suffer the harrowing experience of giving evidence in court.
"We hope she gets the appropriate help to recover from this dreadful episode and Johnson takes the time to reflect on how his predatory actions have caused so much anguish."
He added: "The NSPCC aims to help protect children from abuse through its 'Speak Out Stay Safe' campaign or by urging them to contact its round-the-clock service, ChildLine on 0800 1111 or by visiting www.childline.org.uk."