Not so sure about this Adam Johnson thing

Yes, she was under age (yes, that’s what the law says) and he was bang to rights. However:

Adam Johnson is an emblem of football’s broken soul

Well, no, not really. These numbers are wrong but we’ll still get to roughly where we want to be. Some 30 odd premiership teams? 20? 30 odd players in a full squad? Call it, roughly, 1,000 young men playing at that top level of professional football (what the hell, include some Championship players to make up the number).

What do we think the incidence is of 15 year old girls having sex with adult males? One in one thousand per year? One in one hundred? Men that is. One in ten thousand?

I have absolutely no idea myself but it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest to find that it’s waaaay less than one in one thousand.

No, this isn’t to say that this is normal, or even should be. Only that an occurrence of it seems unlikely to be a damning condemnation of a sport that has that 1,000 young men in it.

31 thoughts on “Not so sure about this Adam Johnson thing”

  1. Ah- I wondered if this case would feature here.

    My issue with the way the verdict was presented in the media was the focus given to the player’s failure as a role model. I mean, he’s undoubtedly thick (post Savile, who’d go anywhere near a possibly underage girl?), but has he gotten a five year sentence for fingerings a 15 year old, or for disappointing theorals of the chattering classes?
    Would someone who isn’t a footie player have got the same sentence for the same circumstances?

  2. I thought that the sentence was out of all proportion to the crime

    There were 4600 births to girls under 16 in 2012 so most of those must have been conceived at 14 yet how many prison sentences were there ?

  3. Extending the point into a fundamentally linked area, sex between 2 under 16 is specifically illegal and yet policy is to *never* enforce this law.

    This is all closer to mob rule than objective democracy.

  4. Personally, as a father I’m really more worried about the attitude of the girls. He’s just a pedo wanker, and a bit of prison will do him no harm. The attitude that men with money can do whatever they like to you if there’s a sniff of a life as a WAG is deeply depressing, however much it correlates to attitudes past 🙁

  5. I find a lot of talk about this case weird. ‘He had a responsibility to be a role model’. No he didn’t. He had a responsibility for scoring/stopping goals. ‘Why didn’t Sunderland suspend him’. Sorry, but why is this his employers business when he’s not been convicted of a crime and not working with girls?

    And personally, I don’t understand the problem with ‘grooming’. We have an age of consent. If you fuck a 15 year old, you get into trouble. Maybe should be not 16, but there it is. isn’t that sufficient? And if it’s grooming as in: phasing in at 16, I don’t see the problem.

    I think what happened in this case was simple ignorance. Johnson knew he couldn’t shag her legally until she was 16, but thought some fingering was OK. bet he wished he did as he’s going to be labelled a nonce anyway. In saner times, he’d have got a caution or non-custodial sentence for this.

    I mean… What is the age of consent for? Ok, protecting kids? But protecting them from what harm? And I’m not talking 8 year olds but mid-teenagers. And I can see why it matters with intercourse – immature girl gets pregnant. A bit of fooling around? Felt a bit cheap afterwards. Broken heart maybe.

  6. “There were 4600 births to girls under 16 in 2012 so most of those must have been conceived at 14 yet how many prison sentences were there ?”

    Well.. quite a lot of those would have been caused by equally stupid males who would still have been minors themselves..

    But during my travels through the UK in the 90’s and a bit later, I’ve always been struck by the sheer amount and ease with which you can pick up horny teens of a definite jailbait quality, even without trying.

    Based on my experience, if the male is under 25-ish, good looking, and at least seemingly affluent, the incidence rate Tim is looking for may be around 1in 100, if not 1 in 50.
    It’s almost like a national sport…

  7. There’s some 600,000 births a year in the UK. Half female….300k in any one year age group. If 5k under 16s are giving birth each year, at a rough guess the abortion rate will be the same (??) and there’s what, two years, three, between menarche and 16th birthday?

    So, 10k pregnancies among 900k girls each year? Roughly, roughly?

    Shit, we’ve got a sodding pregnancy rate of 1% here. Let alone an underage girls have sex rate.

    Yes, sure, not all of those will get knocked up by men over 16 but the way this works you’d probably suggest that most of them do.

  8. @grikath
    “But during my travels through the UK in the 90’s and a bit later, I’ve always been struck by the sheer amount and ease with which you can pick up horny teens of a definite jailbait quality, even without trying.”

    Hey! Which band were you in?

  9. It’s a perfect parable for our times – thick rich footballer using social media to lure star struck fifteen year olds who look much older to finger them in his Range Rover, a civil action for a round million, a gold digger girlfriend/pouting selfie artiste who had his babby out of wedlock, her father (‘Gary’) now popping up in the papers in footballing attire to suggest the relationship is over… Is an English Tom Wolfe scripting our lives now?

  10. Julia, 4,600 underage pregnancies doesn’t mean 4,600 guilty men; there could be a few very active ones.

  11. I don’t need to like Interested to be able to say he has summed it up perfectly. And yes, this is Tom Wolfe territory.

  12. He has broken the law–no question. But 5 years for touching a clearly willing 15 year-old girl–who now wants a million of his cash? Perhaps Hannibal Smith is not the only one who loves it when a plan comes together.

    And the article is pure tripe. What- a-wicked-monster malarkey combined with what a well-off shallow twat the guy is etc. Plus the most thuggy full-face photo they could find. It is from the DT but is no different from something that could appear in the Guardian.

  13. Funny how Saville and all the others weren’t emblems for the Art’s broken soul.

    I’m sure we can find journalists who did vile things, yet the media doesn’t seem to have a “broken soul”.

    Nope, only football. Hard to tell why. Maybe its because the middle class wankers who write for national newspapers don’t like working class sport?

  14. And personally, I don’t understand the problem with ‘grooming’.

    The government grooms children to be agents of the state all the time.

  15. I do wonder if more harm comes to teenagers who shag adults by having to go through the whole legal process, than the original crime itself. From what I read the girl was perfectly ok about what happened, but she told a friend, who blabbed to everyone in the school and she started getting a load of stick, dad found out, went to the cops…

    If she hadn’t blabbed, it would probably be just the sort of pleasant/embarrassing memory from a youthful age of discovery that I expect most of us have. Instead it is a traumatic, life defining year of hell.

  16. That Mirror site is absolutely infested with shit scripts determined to kill your browser.

    Anyway, one can only assume that these husbands of child brides aren’t footballers, so they are OK.

    Adam Johnson could have run her over and killed her and got less time.

  17. From the Mirror article: “One in nine girls worldwide is married before age 15”

    That plus the loophole bit makes for some awkward thinking. So it’s illegal to go abroad and have some fun with a willing 15 year old, but what if you marry them first? Presumably, so long as you don’t have any fun before the marriage, it’d be legit and you’d be able to bring them home with you?

    I think the case was a bit ridiculous. Yes, he broke the rules and really should have known better, but it doesn’t merit years in jail if you ask me. If she’d been 8, then sure – but she wasn’t.

  18. “Adam Johnson could have run her over and killed her and got less time”

    Well, not if he’d run her over deliberately.

    Similarly if he’d accidently shoved his hand down her knickers and his tongue down her throat he probably wouldn’t be looking at jail time.

    But as you can imagine, that would have to have been some freaky accident.

  19. It’s quite apparent even from the reportage that the only trauma was from being “shamed” on the gossip mill and internet. If she’s gong to sue somebody, it ought to be the friends she drunkenly boasted to about it. Oh but wait, they haven’t got lots of money.

    The age of criminal responsibility is ten by the way.

  20. Ian B, as I said above.

    If father had had any sense he would have “privately sued” aka blackmailed, Johnson for a couple of hundred grand and saved his daughter the media onslaught which is probably only fractionally lessened by her anonymity, because for sure anyone she knows also knows she is the one at the centre of this.

    Of course he may have tried this and Johnson told him to sod off, which would make him even more stupid than we already know him to be.

  21. Regarding the Home Office “loophole”…I’ve not got much of a problem with it because it stems from a very sensible piece of legislation that says the UK will recognize any marriage which has taken place legally abroad, i.e. they’ll recognize an Elvis drive-thru Vegas wedding. I find this far more sensible than that of other countries which only recognize certain marriages otherwise they require you to remarry in their country which can involve making the blatantly false claim that you are not married as a condition of getting married. Yes, this is why my wife is not married in the eyes of the Russians.

  22. David Bowie shagged a 14 year old and the archbishop of canterbury sang his praises on the today programme upon his demise.

  23. “Starting from the age of 15, Lori Mattix ranked among the most desired of these so-called baby groupies who were helping to satisfy the sexual appetites of Jimmy Page, David Bowie, Mick Jagger, and others. She hung out at the Playboy Mansion and modeled in the pages of Star.”

    You mean her? Seems to me she pretty much actively pursued that…
    Only to cry Wolf decades later, of course..

    mind if I’m a bit… sarcastic.. towards this type of boo-hoo-ing?

  24. ‘Grooming’ used to be called courting.

    Meanwhile en France, there would have been no Court case or media hyperventilating because age of consent is 15, so 15 year olds can have consensual sex without the sky falling or society falling apart.

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