Adam Johnson video prompts Prison Service investigation

Former England footballer, who was jailed for six years in March, caught on camera in jail laughing about sexually assaulting fan

The Prison Service is investigating after Adam Johnson, the disgraced former England footballer, was secretly filmed in prison laughing about his conviction for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old fan.

In a video published by the Sun, the ex-Sunderland midfielder dismissed his crimes as “fuck all” and said he would have been let off with a caution if he was Joe Public.

Responding to a fellow prisoner who said Johnson did not rape his victim, the former footballer said: “No, I wish I fucking did for six years.”

Johnson, 29, was jailed for six years in March after being convicted of grooming, kissing and sexual activity with the teenage girl following a trial at Bradford crown court.

Last month Johnson failed in a second attempt to overturn his conviction and reduce his sentence at the court of appeal.

Johnson’s sister, Faye, who had been leading her brother’s appeal attempts, had not commented publicly on the Sun video on Friday morning.

The Ministry of Justice initially declined to comment but released a statement on Friday afternoon saying it was investigating.

A Prison Service spokeswoman said: “We are committed to making prisons places of safety and reform and are stepping up measures to find and block illegal mobile phones. Those who break the rules will be punished and can face extra time behind bars. An investigation is under way.”

In the video the former Manchester City and Middlesbrough winger is heard admitting that his chances of playing again in England had been scuppered by “do-gooders” but that he might try to revive his career abroad.

He tells fellow prisoners: “I’ve got more chance abroad. You can’t get a second chance in England, man. All them do-gooders they’ll come out and say, ‘Nah he can’t play and all this, he’s done this.’”

Johnson is seen making a crude gesture about his victim as he describes how she would wait for a picture with him after Sunderland games at the Stadium of Light, going on to imply that she wore provocative clothing.

“Then after the game she was asking for pictures all the time. This went on for about six months and the next thing she says: ‘Can you get us a signed shirt?’ and uh … then she added me [on social media]. I accepted her, got talking to her, I didn’t, I didn’t know, I just thought she was 17, 18.”

Johnson’s claim to prisoners that he thought the girl was 17 or 18 is false. In his first police interview and later in evidence at his trial, Johnson admitted kissing the girl and knowing that she was 15.

In the video, another prisoner said: “Next thing you’re doing a six stretch.”

Johnson, laughing, replied that other prisoners had been convicted of offences with “12-year-olds and got 13 months and that. D’you know what I mean? They got like half the time.”

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