No doubt all of us watching the process of justice against Sunderland’s sex-mad footballer Adam Johnson, just knew that he was going to escape proper justice, didn’t we? Today we got the final evidence though when he was back in Bradford High court for sentencing. The Judge duly gave him harsh words, severe criticism even, and then let him off with the lightest sentence imaginable if not possible. You see that is what you can get away with, as we have seen in other high profile cases, when you are mega rich and famous, isn’t it?
This saga all started well over a year ago when low-life sexual predator Johnson first extensively groomed a vulnerable teenager and then had penile penetrative sex with her. When her parents found out he was arrested and charged with extremely serious sexual offences, but he was nevertheless not taken off the streets but allowed bail and to continue to pursue his football career giving him widespread positive media publicity, get encouragement from fans & sponsors, and to rake-in at least four million pounds into the bargain. He continued to live the life of Riley for a full year and no doubt continue his sexual conquests, while completely denying all wrongdoing and poring scorn on the victim’s claims, so that his associates & supporters could and did labeled her as a lying slag, making her young life an utter misery, being scared and intimidated far and wide by her peers and by the football supporters (who would chant abuse about her). Additionally, the victim received thousands of malicious messages via social media including threats, and it is said that “those close to Johnson” had encouraged supporters to repeatedly abuse the victim via social media.
Unfortunately then and since, even many members of the great British general public have been conned, so have bought his false claims as being victimised, haven’t they?
He abused the Justice system and then on the first day of his trial in February he finally owned-up, but only to ‘partial guilt’ – that of grooming but not full sex. Johnson had lied repeatedly, enabling him to continue his £60,000-a-week career with Sunderland. This forced a three week trial on the most serious charge and subjected the very young girl to further torment including days of harassment by his Defence barristers calling her a blatant liar (why do we allow that, eh?). She reached the lowest ebb after she had had to give her evidence. The Jury though found Johnson guilty (despite the Judge making it more difficult by demanding a unanimous 12-0 verdict?), and Johnson was warned he was going down for quite a while. Unbelievably to most of us he then, as a convicted sex offender felon, was simply invited to go home for the past three weeks to enjoy a bit more of his riches lifestyle – while a mere tramp’s feet wouldn’t have touched the ground on the way to jail, would they?
The Judge handed down just a year for grooming and five years for sex, so a total of six years. The sentence could have been 10 years imprisonment for grooming, and 14 years imprisonment for penetration, so Johnson has walked away with about the minimum guidelines, hasn’t he? Why?
The Judge had pointed out that there was a high level of seriousness and culpability by Johnson in carrying out the offences, and his intensions from the outset were determined – he made the girl feel special, flirted with her, and sent her hundreds of messages, and the harm to the victim in grooming was greater because it resulted in a completed offence. The victim was an immature besotted football fan with an idol and that made her very vulnerable indeed – that is an aggravating factor. She wasn’t a girl enamoured by an older man, so Johnson had no excuse for seducing her other than sheer sexual lust. The seriousness of his offence was aggravated by his determined sophisticated planning and his sexual culpability increased by the risk he knew he was putting her in by his promiscuity and being a possible carrier of a sexual transmitted disease. The way he carried out his offence in clandestine away from any public gaze, was another aggravating factor in the case, as were the features including: location and timing of the offence (that being a dark and secluded place), and the steps he took to prevent the offence being reported (Johnson had repeatedly told the victim not tell anyone). Yet despite all, in this case the offender was given about the minimum jail term, why?
Furthermore, the Judge made it plain that Johnson had manipulated the schoolgirl to satisfy his sexual desires and that the victim has suffered serious psychological harm & injury (and will continue to do so), which is a further aggravating issue. He was determined to have his way with her, despite knowing full well her young age, which he was fully prepared to disregard. The conviction and sentence will not fix the emotional turmoil of this girl, will it?
The Judge told Johnson that the only reason he was able to carry out his offending was because he was a successful footballer for Sunderland. Also, he had had every opportunity to enter guilty pleas, but didn’t. As to Johnson’s culpability the judge placed the ‘kissing’ sexual activity into the ‘highest category [‘A’], then gave him just 4 months BUT ‘concurrent’, so he doesn’t actually serve time -why? As far as grooming culpability, the judge considered the factors present to be: abuse of trust; use of a gift; and communications indicating desire for penetrative sexual activity; together with further aggravating factors in the form of a disposal of text messages evidence and again steps taken to prevent the victim from reporting the incident.
None of the relevant aggravating factors seem to be reflected in his sentence, and in this case there were no mitigating factors – not even contriteness. He was made to pay £50,000 towards the costs of the prosecution (chicken feed for him), which was not even the whole cost – why not? Indeed he should also as well have suffered an increase in sentence (that would have hurt him more).
Apparently Johnson’s parents give a private letter to the Judge before sentencing. Why were they allowed to do that when all pleading is to be in open court for all to witness, surely? What affect did it have, do you think?
Sunderland Football Club are a disgrace by allowing Johnson to return to the pitch despite knowing he had privately admitted sexual offences with an underage schoolgirl. In a perverse sense of priorities, they did it to avoid relegation last year, but hopefully they’ll go down this year instead, eh?
Shockingly, it now transpires that Johnson was also arrested last year for possessing extreme pornography featuring sex with animals, but he was never charged. Why not for goodness sake? Special treatment?
As it stands Johnson will go on the sex offenders register for ‘life’, thereafter on release he will have to tell police certain details about himself, such as names he uses, his home and other UK addresses, where he regularly resides or stays, all information on all passports he holds, and his national insurance number.
[Oh yes Johnson is certainly appealing his conviction (he obviously has the money, eh?) and probably will his sentence as well – what has he got to lose, do you think?]