Ex-Sunderland Winger Johnson Loses Child Sex Offence Appeal Application
16 March 2017, 10:18
Ex-Sunderland footballer, Adam Johnson, has had his appeal application against his child sex offence conviction and sentence rejected.
It was dismissed by three judges in London.
The Court of Appeal judges also rejected his bid for a reduction in his six-year jail sentence.
The decisions in renewed applications made by 29-year-old Johnson - following earlier refusals by a single judge - were made by Lady Justice Rafferty, Mr Justice Sweeney and the Recorder of Sheffield, Judge Julian Goose.
At the start of his trial at Bradford Crown Court, Johnson admitted one charge of sexual activity with a child, relating to kissing her. He also admitted a charge of meeting a child with intent following grooming her.
He denied there was any further sexual activity with her in his Range Rover when he met up with her in County Durham in January 2015.
But the former Sunderland and Manchester City winger was found guilty by a jury in March last year of one offence of sexual activity with a child.
PICTURED: Adam Johnson runs into Bradford Crown Court ahead of his sentencing in 2016
UPDATED 16th March 2017, 7:30am
Three judges at the Court of Appeal in London are announcing their decision in a bid by the 29-year-old, from Castle Eden, to challenge both his conviction and six-year sentence.
At a recent hearing, Lady Justice Rafferty, Mr Justice Sweeney and the Recorder of Sheffield, Judge Julian Goose, heard renewed applications on Johnson's behalf following a previous refusal by a single judge.
At the start of his trial at Bradford Crown Court, Johnson admitted grooming the girl and one charge of sexual activity with a child, relating to kissing her.
He denied there was any further sexual activity with the girl in his Range Rover when he met up with her in County Durham.
The former Sunderland winger was found guilty by a jury in March last year of one offence of sexual activity with a child. He was cleared of one charge relating to another sexual act.
Judge Jonathan Rose, when sentencing, said he was satisfied the girl suffered "severe psychological harm'' and that Johnson took advantage of "a young teenager's adoration of a successful celebrity''.
At the centre of his fight against conviction is a criticism that the trial judge "misdirected'' the jury on issues of his "credibility''.
Eleanor Laws QC, representing Johnson at the Court of Appeal, argued that this must have had "an adverse and unfair impact on the credibility of Adam Johnson in a case where credibility was the central issue''.
The appeal judges will also rule on a submission that the jail sentence imposed was "too much for this offence''.
His QC submitted:
"When one looks at the sentencing judge's remarks, he was clearly highly influenced by the fact that the applicant was a famous and successful footballer and, in fact, counted that against him''.