Shamed former Sunderland footballer Adam Johnson is set to leave prison this week, after serving half his six-year sentence, according to reports.
National newspapers are reporting today that the 31-year-old will be released from Moorlands Prison in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, by Friday.
Johnson was sentenced to six years' imprisonment in 2016 for grooming and sexual activity with a teenage girl.
However, the former Manchester City, Middlesbrough and England footballer is set to be released on parole this month.
His sister Faye tweeted on January 1 that she was excited at the prospect of having her brother home in 2019.
Johnson is reported to have received his final jail visit this week from his family, including his four-year-old daughter.
A source close to his family told The Sun that he will leave prison in the middle of the night 'under the cover of darkness to protect him from vigilantes'.
Prisoners are usually released from jail at around 6am - though exceptions are made for 'high profile' inmates.
The source added: "Adam is terrified about coming out of prison. He's worried about the backlash from nutters or vigilantes who might go for him.
"He was an admired footballer, but knows he is now leaving prison as a paedophile.
"His family went to see him to reassure him they will be there waiting for him. It's because he is so scared officials made the decision about his release.
"He will be released in the middle of the week, in the middle of the night, under cover of darkness and into a waiting car."