Man warned in connection with the Adam Johnson case
A 29-year-old man has been warned by police for 'harassing' the teenage victim in the Adam Johnson case.
Durham police have issued a warning to the man, from Sunderland, for allegedly posting images of the schoolgirl on social media.
The harassment warning was issued by police on behalf of the victim ahead of the sentencing tomorrow of the former Sunderland footballer for three child sex offences.
Johnson, 28, is facing between five and 10 years in prison after being found guilty at Bradford Crown Court of one count of sexual activity with a child. He also admitted kissing and grooming the girl, but was cleared of a further offence.
Victims of sex offences are entitled to lifelong anonymity under the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 1992. Anyone who breaches that provision is liable to prosecution. Police harassment notices serve as a warning that any further incident could result in arrest and prosecution.
A spokesman for Durham Police, said: "We have issued one notice to someone in relation to the Adam Johnson support pages. It was under the Prevention of Harassment Act."
The force has twice warned internet users that identifying Johnson’s victim is a criminal offence – first following his arrest, and then on the eve of his trial.
The schoolgirl, now 16, described how she had been left “devastated” by internet abuse in an emotional statement issued after the verdicts.
She said: “The gossip on social media and hearing all the horrible names that people have been calling me has been devastating to me, my friends and my family. People were lying about me and what I had said.
“They don’t understand the impact their words can have on someone. Him being found guilty shows everyone I was telling the truth. I hope people can see that everything is not always as it first seems and opinions should only be based on facts and not on rumours.
“The last 12 months have been horrendous and there have been times when I’ve wanted to hide away from the world. There have been times I haven’t felt able to face people.”