A teenager allegedly groomed by former England and Premier League star Adam Johnson has told a jury she thought the footballer was “creepy”.
The alleged victim, who was 15 at the time of the allegations, said she wanted to “big herself up” to her friends after sending a message on social media Snapchat to pals which included pics of the footballer’s car.
But she admitted she thought Johnson was “a creep” and “looked creepy” before meeting the star – after an exchange of messages with her friends.
Asked by Johnson’s barrister Orlando Pownall QC about this, she replied: “I thought he was slightly creepy by some of the messages he was sending me.
“I thought as soon as I told him my age he would back off but he didn’t. Who just asks for a random fan’s number?”
Breaking down on video link after giving evidence on the third day of trial at Bradford Crown Court, West Yorks., today (Tues), the alleged victim sobbed so uncontrollably – so the court was given an extra break in session.
Speaking about the first meeting with the defendant in the car, the alleged victim said it was “awkward” – because she didn’t know how the footy star would react when she said she wanted to leave.
She said: “I didn’t know how he would react – I didn’t know what he was really like.
“For him to be texting a 15 year old girl – he can’t be normal can he.”
The blonde youngster, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was cross-examined by Mr Pownall, who alleged that the youngster was wrapped in a exaggerated story, making it up as she went along.
She replied: “I tried to protect him. I told my friends to lie to protect Adam Johnson – so why would I lie now.
“That is the God’s honest truth.”
Around 80 people at her school knew about the alleged incident but the alleged victim said the “bottom set” classes discussed it – but she was in top classes so it didn’t bother her.
Mr Pownall told the alleged victim that she had plenty of opportunity to change her story after she was given the ultimatum by police officers before the charges were brought to Johnson.
But by this time “people at school had already began talking about it” and “teachers knew” – the alleged victim revealed.
Speaking about whether or not the victim remembered the details of the first encounter, after an argument over why the victim wanted a bottle of Coke, Mr Pownall said: “You are making this up as you go along, aren’t you?
The alleged victim replied: “No, no I’m not.”
Mr Pownall also asked: “Are you sly?”
The alleged victim said: “Yes.”
She added: “I admit it was sly of me not to delete the text messages to Adam Johnson.”
Asked why she kept the text messages, and why she messaged a friend giving details of what she did with the defendant, the alleged victim replied to “show-off”.
The text to her friend read: “He fingered us [me], sucked him off and tossed him off.”
She also text the same friend, following the second meeting: “I met up with him again and we done stuff. He’s picking me up again this weekend and I’m riding him.” [Sic.]
The alleged victim agreed that she was someone who “exaggerated a bit” when asked by the lawyer.
She added: “I like to big myself up and show off.”
She admitted she did it because she wanted to be “big and clever” – saying: “I was bragging about it because how many people can say it happened to them.”
The court heard that the alleged victim and her friends would post pictures of their bank accounts in a whatsapp group called ‘Salou’ – where the group joked about the victim being bought a Range Rover.
She replied: “All teenagers do stupid things – no one is innocent.
“This wasn’t a normal thing for a 15 year old to be going through.
“I was to blame, and I should have said no.”
The alleged victim, who before the meet up with the footballer called the defendant “a bit of a creep” in a whatsapp group – but was warned by her own mother to not stalk Johnson after she received a signed football from the star.
Mr Pownall, speaking to the defendant said: “Your own mother warned you about stalking Adam Johnson didn’t she?
“She said: ‘do not go stalking him’ – after you received a signed football from him for your 15th birthday didn’t you?”
The defendant replied confirmed yes to both questions.
Speaking about the evening when the victim was walking near Johnson’s house, she said: “Everyone was just on their phones and that’s boring. So I went for a walk.
“I wasn’t meaning to go near his house – I was trying to find the train line (path).”
Pownall alleged that the victim had purposely gone in the direction of the star’s home – because she wanted to still have a connection with the star.
In reply, she added: “It does not change the fact what he did to us [me].”
Former Sunderland AFC winger Johnson, 28, who attended court today wearing a black suit, with white shirt and silver tie, denies two counts of sexual activity with a child taking place on January 30, 2015.
The trial continues.