The Mail Online columnist Katie Hopkins has faced a particularly vocal backlash on Twitter after she described the 15-year-old victim in the Adam Johnson grooming trial as a “slag”.In a series of posts to social media, Ms Hopkins suggested the England footballer was the victim of a witch-hunt and urged her more than 600,000 followers to “look up the definition of paedophile”.

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After two years at the Sun, Ms Hopkins was handed a prominent role as columnist at the Mail Online in September, where her controversial opinions are read around the world by 230 million unique visitors a month.

Yet that hasn’t stopped her from continuing to take offensive stances on social media.

In a post on Sunday morning, she wrote of Johnson’s victim: “A child? Looking to impress her mates by snagging a footballer. From slag to wag.” “Your continued abuse of this girl is appalling,” one reply read.

“How u can defend a convicted sex offender is amazing.” Another said: “I think you're wrong on this one Kate.

He encouraged his young victim to delete any traces of their online contact and, when she reported what had happened to police, he initially claimed to be unaware of her true age and told police that he had only ever kissed her.

“While he eventually admitted to those charges for which there was overwhelming documentary evidence, he continued to deny the true extent of their sexual contact.

“The victim in this case has endured months of abuse and personal attacks online.

15 is 15 no matter what the circumstances.” When Johnson was convicted last Wednesday, the Crown Prosecution Service issued a statement which said the footballer "chose to exploit that fame to actively pursue a 15 year old girl for his own sexual gratification, in full knowledge of her age".

It read: “The law in this country regarding sexual activity between adults and those under the age of 16 is clear.