Roberts committed suicide on 14 December 2010, which Johnson subsequently described as "the worst day of my life".
He added: “In reality they were children who lacked the maturity of experience to cope with your manipulative ways." The court heard that the girls had been taunted and insulted by friends and family of the defendants since coming forward, including being bombarded by obscene messages, called sluts and accused of being racist.
Judge Walford described the girls' treatment as "appalling", adding that it revealed a “profoundly worrying attitude about the offending”.
In court, Johnson claimed that he had confessed to Sunderland chief executive Margaret Byrne on .
Byrne, a former lawyer, was due to appear as a witness for his defence but did not take the stand.
In late February 2010, Johnson was named in the senior squad for the first time in Fabio Capello's 30-man shortlist for the upcoming March friendly against Egypt in May, but did not make the final 23.
The trial lasted for sixteen days, was presided over by His Honour Judge Jonathan Rose, the lead barrister for the prosecution was Kate Blackwell QC and the lead barrister for the defence was Orlando Pownall QC.
He played 120 games for Middlesbrough, also spending time on loan at Leeds United and Watford.
In February 2010 he moved to Manchester City, where he won the FA Cup in 2011 and the Premier League the following season.
In March 2015, Johnson was arrested and charged over sexual activity with a 15-year-old girl, with England's age of consent being 16.
Johnson continued to play for Sunderland during his bail.
Adam Johnson (born 14 July 1987) is an English professional footballer and convicted sex offender who plays as a winger.