Adam Johnson refused leave to appeal against child abuse conviction

Former England footballer was jailed for six years last March after being found guilty of sexual activity with a 15-year-old girl

Adam Johnson, the disgraced former England and Sunderland footballer, has lost another bid to overturn his conviction for sexual activity with a 15-year-old fan.

The 29-year-old, who was jailed for six years last March after being convicted of sexual activity with the teenage girl following a trial at Bradford crown court, was also refused leave to appeal against his six-year jail sentence.

Mr Justice Sweeney handed down the ruling at the Royal Courts of Justice in London on Thursday, which he made along with Lady Justice Rafferty and the recorder of Sheffield, Judge Julian Goose, following a hearing last month.

Johnson’s latest failed attempt to appeal against his conviction follows an earlier refusal last year by a single judge.

At the start of his trial, 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.

The trial heard he kissed and touched the girl sexually in his Range Rover in a secluded spot in County Durham. The jury was told Johnson had admitted kissing the girl, but denied he sexually touched her in an intimate area.

Johnson’s application to appeal centred on claims the original trial judge, Jonathan Rose, misdirected the jury in his summing up.

His conviction led Sunderland to say the club was “so very sorry” for letting down the 15-year-old fan, and to the resignation of the chief executive, Margaret Byrne, after she admitted “a serious error of judgment” in advising the board that the star could carry on playing after he was initially suspended.


Jamie Grierson

The GuardianTramp

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