FOR DISGRACED footballer Adam Johnson, a six year prison sentence – he will be eligible for parole in March 2019 – is still relatively lenient compared to the lifetime of torment that will be suffered by the 15-year-old schoolgirl whom he groomed with hundreds of explicit text messages before sexually assaulting her in the back of his car.
His career in ruins, Johnson is undeserving of sympathy because of not only the gratuitous manner in which he exploited his celebrity status but his total contempt for the judicial process. Having protested his innocence for more than a year, presumably because he wanted to maximise his income as a millionaire footballer while hoping against hope that his victim would withdraw her claims, the 28-year-old also displayed an unforgivable amount of insolence.
At one point, his trial was curtailed because he told a friend that he was ‘bored’ – this one-time England international clearly did not appreciate, or understand, the seriousness of his paedophilia and his betrayal of not just the infatuated young girl in question, but his family, supporters and those footballers who are exemplary role models.
Perhaps the most perplexing aspect of this sick case is that West Yorkshire Police were able to deploy so many officers to Bradford Crown Court to protect Johnson as he sprinted from a decoy car into the halls of justice. As he begins his incarceration at Leeds Prison, the only person that Johnson needs protecting from is himself and his own depravity.