Adam Johnson did fuck all. He didn’t fuck at all; nor did he have oral sex with an underaged girl as was alleged; and he certainly didn’t rape her. He merely sent flirtatious messages, which she welcomed, then kissed the very willing 15-year-old and copped a bit of a grope in her pants.

She was totally up for it, bursting to brag to her pals that she was scoring with a glamorous Premiership and England international footballer.

But that hasn’t stopped the zealots of victim feminism from cranking up their mendacious hate speech, deliberately obscuring the consensual nature of the activity under a blizzard of blather about “rape culture” – hate speech aided and abetted by incendiary media references to “paedophile” Johnson, as though the girl had been 15 months old rather than 15 years.

The madness of the reaction to Johnson’s “crimes” has been so extreme, so egregious, it takes a hard-boiled professional controversialist to do it justice. Take a bow, Katie Hopkins. Describing the Twitter mob’s version of lynch lunacy, she wrote in the Daily Mail, “Look around at these people. They are no different to the nutters of ISIS gathering to watch gay men thrown from buildings.”

As for the “victim”, kudos to Hopkins for daring to tell it like it was:

She looked way older than 15 and acted way older than 15, something “everyone told her” all the time.

But in Italy and Germany, where the age of consent is 14, they clearly define our young persons’ march into adulthood a lot more progressively then we do here in the UK.

She waited to meet him, willingly handed over her number, recorded their meetings to brag to mates, and was perfectly aware of what he wanted when she clambered into his car.

Not only that, but she was the one going back for more.

Funnily enough, daddy darling wasn’t bothered about his daughter’s “attacker” until she had let things get out of hand. She got drunk and gossiped to the wrong people. (Remind me of the legal drinking age again?) Adam stood her up, her name was dirt at school, and suddenly she needed an out.

From would-be WAG to slag, then suddenly she needed a more demure label: victim.

Those of us who take issue with WEIRD sexual values will reject the “slag” put-down. We don’t mind a girl who likes a frolic, or the excitement of having a famous boyfriend, or even bragging about it. And, yes, there should be every sympathy for youngsters panicking when they find they are out of their depth. By all means chuck them a life jacket, as parents find themselves doing wearyingly often when their kids get into all sorts of scrapes. Making mistakes and learning from them are a necessary part of growing up.

But the lifejacket marked “victim” serves only to strip young people – and adults too, increasingly – of all responsibility for their own actions. The age of criminal responsibility is 10 in England and 8 in Scotland. These ages may be on the low side but they suggest we definitely feel a 15-year-old should be accountable for their own behaviour.

So, what is particularly unedifying in this case is not that the girl is a “slag” but that she and those around her would seek to offload all the blame for what happened onto Johnson. Ideally there would be no criminal liability on either side because both were willing participants, but that is another issue. The point here is that by casting the teenager as the mere victim of an exploitative adult, a grave injustice has been done. Johnson’s fall has been vertiginously tragic, not only losing a glittering career and depriving his club and fans of a great talent, but he is also threatened with a long prison term for no more than what would usually be called “petting” or “foreplay”.

Another aspect of the case is worth noting too, namely what an article in The Independent called Johnson’s “worryingly feminist” defence. Siobhan Fenton wrote:

In many ways the story is a familiar tragedy of an older, powerful man abusing his position to seek sexual gratification from a vulnerable person. However, what is particularly striking is the extent to which Johnson has not only failed to deny these wider social issues surrounding abuse, but almost embraced them. Indeed, in a bid to deflect responsibility for the suffering he has caused, his defence in court represented an almost feminist logic…

Johnson, she said, claimed his early rise to fame and success as a gifted teenage footballer made him arrogant and retarded his development. His defence, as she put it, “echoes feminist arguments about rape culture whilst inverting them to scapegoat [sic; just means escape?] personal responsibility”. She thought that Johnson’s expensive barrister, Orlando Pownall QC, had deliberately drawn on the “feminist” perception that culture is all-important in forming our ideas of what is sexually acceptable and unacceptable, and that his client had unfortunately been brought up in a particularly Neanderthal atmosphere: that of professional football.

Note that expression, “rape culture”. Fenton uses it no fewer than six times in an article of not much more than 600 words! Johnson was acquitted of consensual but illegal oral sex. What we get from Fenton is rape, rape, rape, rammed down our throats in her own act of oral rape, on a totally spurious basis.

Johnson might have been expected to use the traditional mitigation that the complainant had been a willing participant, thereby “blaming the victim”. Of course, that would have outraged the anti-sexual zealots. Logically, then, the “feminist” defence he actually adopted should be seen by the victimhood promoters as a great improvement. After all, Johnson, was humbling himself, admitting he had done “wrong” and saying he was sorry.

But that just seems to have incensed the indignados even more! How dare he be humble! What right has he to be sorry!  As for seeking to understand where he had gone wrong, by trying to see his behaviour from a feminist point of view, there could be no more cynical and appalling crime! Doing that, after all, allowed him to argue for a punishment short of castration followed by execution! Why should he be permitted to do that? What right could any man possibly have to any so-called “defence” when accused by a woman? The arrogance of it! The chauvinistic sense of entitlement!

It is clear there can be no appeasing feminists of Fenton’s sort. They are unreasonable. They are implacable. They must be met not with grovelling submission but with contemptuous ridicule.

Easy for us to say, looking on. Not so easy when you are in a courtroom and desperate for any sort of get-out-of-jail card. Judge Jonathan Rose said the range under consideration was between four and 10 years. A prison sentence was “almost inevitable”, he said, telling Johnson he was being granted bail to “say goodbye to your daughter” before sentence is passed.

The CPS sentencing guidelines actually point to rather less draconian possibilities. The starting point for “grooming” (the flirtatious messages), where the child is over 13, is 18 months. For “sexual activity with a child” of this age (the groping) it is only 12 months, albeit that is for touching the child’s genitals without penetration. But this rises to four years if a finger finds its way into a vagina.

Sentencing is now expected to be next week. If it were up to Ms Fenton, one supposes the footballer’s one-year-old daughter would spend her entire childhood with no daddy in her life at all.

Mr Pownall’s defence strategy is aimed not at vicious viragos, though, but at the judge. It may yet work. His Honour has strongly flagged the likelihood of a long sentence but there is a faint ray of hope in his “almost inevitable”. He may yet relent and be merciful. But that would be a very brave course to take, putting his own head on the block, never mind Johnson’s. So, if you are inclined to bet on clemency make sure you get decent odds.