Adam Johnson to renew his appeal against sentence

    Adam Johnson to renew his appeal against sentence


    We covered the case of Adam Johnson, the Sunderland footballer when he was jailed for 6 years (and ordered to pay £50,000 costs) on 24th March 2016 for two counts of sexual activity with a child under 16 and one count of grooming.

    At the time, we said that we thought that the sentence was in the range of permissible sentences, and so an appeal was unlikely to be successful.

    The procedure is that a High Court Judge considers the application on paper and decides if there is merit in it (full details in this factsheet).

    In this case, the Judge decided that there was not and so refused permission (not ‘dismissing the appeal’ as was reported). What we were told on 31st January 2017 is that, as is his right, Mr Johnson is renewing the application to the Full Court.

    This will be heard on 28th February 2017 (we will come and look at what they say). We haven’t seen the application, but there is nothing to indicate that that is anything new or any reason why he will succeed.

    One point – the BBC headline states “Adam Johnson in second jail sentence appeal bid”. This is misleading, as it applies it is a second attempt at an appeal, it’s really the continuation of the first one.

    The Court of Appeal do have the power to order a ‘loss of time’, a power that they have been exercising a lot more of late. They have not done so in any ‘high profile’ case, but it is only a matter of time before they do. We will keep our eye on what happens.



    1. Maybe he’s decided that he really meant to plead not guilty but the prosecution deliberately altered his please to guilty and that’s why he got sent down. I expect this will be a credible defence and he’ll be released after a high profile retrial and then can play alongside the former convicted rapist Ched Evans.

    2. Don’t put ideas in his head, L-E-S!

      He pleaded guilty to the grooming and not guilty to the other offences; if I remember correctly he was acquitted on one charge, which suggests a careful and thoughtful jury.

    3. I still maintain his sentence was long under the circumstances, but there is little point appealing again. He has zero chance of winning.

    4. He got six against a maximum of fourteen. The maximum is for the worst cases: probably involving multiple victims and full intercourse. This case concerned one victim and while he probably would have gone further if he could the fact is that he did not. Just under half the maximum sounds right to me and I don’t see any chance of the appeal succeeding: and I don’t think it shojuld.

      If he loses time it will be a turn-up for the book!

      • When compared to other sentences for similar or worse offences, his sentence was long – whether it was below half or not.

    5. For Pete’s sake, Captain, of course he got a long sentence. He stuck his fingers in the private parts of a girl of 14 for his own wretched pleasure. The question is not Was the sentence long but Was it too long – and for my money there is only one answer and it isn’t Yes.

    6. Oh come on Andrew stop being dim and understand what I’m saying. Its about relativity and proportionality in sentencing. So I’ll spell it out again. In comparison with other similar offences and offences of a more serious nature, his sentence is disproportionally long. The probable reasons were the ‘Savile Effect’ and the general animosity towards highly paid footballers.

      • It’s possible that the other sentences you mention – but don’t name – were too lenient. But that’s no reason why Johnson should not serve the sentence he got.

    7. Don’t try to trivialise sexual assault. This was all easily avoided if Johnson had kept his fingers and his johnson to himself.

      • Mercifully the whole dreadful business was stopped before he got his johnson involved (which by the way is not a name I have heard for it before!) and he may be considered lucky that he was stopped in time; but there it is, you can’t sentence people for what the intended to do, only for what they did.

        • I’d have more respect for him if he just shut up and did his time. It’s like these celebs believe they inhabit a parallel universe where the laws of the land shouldn’t apply to them. He wants to be benched for a few weeks then allowed back out to behave like as he wishes.

    8. I’m not sure I would have more respect for him whether he did his time or not. I just hope Sunderland’s Board grasp that even if still has any talent after three years – or a bit less, who knows, or even a bit more if he loses time, although I doubt that – as a guest of the taxpayer he will be toxic. Many of their own supporters – and not only women – will boo and hiss and jeer at the sight of him; even more of the opposing supporters; and their sponsors will queue up to jump ship. The days when footballers were forgiven anything are receding into history. There are some still playing who wee allowed back and should not have been; that’s a pity but I don’t want them excluded now, the past is the past.

      It’s uncomfortable enough that his name will be in the record books, the sort of books which appeal to the more obsessional fans which list every player in every game; but you can’t erase history.

      • A figure of speech – regarding respect of Johnson. I have none.

        However back to footballers, it appears that a bloke wearing a nylon t shirt and kicking a ball at a professional level can buy himself absolution for anything. I understand the former rapist, known as Ched Evans, was given a standing ovation by Sheffield fans when his side were playing against theirs. How can anyone appalud his, criminal in my view, behaviour let alone the morality, or lack of it, of what he did. I have every belief that someone will snap Johnson up too as long as he makes out that he was the victim of a “teenage temptress” rather than the truth that he sexually assaulted a child and wants to take no responsibility for his actions.

        Was it Gordon Strachan who said – there is no morality in football, only money.

        • I understand the former terrorist, known as Nelson Mandela, was given a standing ovation by a ‘prescribed terrorist organization’ when he was released from prison. How can anyone applaud his, criminal in most Court’s views, behaviour let alone the morality, or lack of it, of what he did.

          Perhaps Gordon Strachan said there is no morality in the legal world, only politics ?

          It’s a funny old game.

          • One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom figher – see McGuinness & Adams (terrorism IRA). However that’s irrelevant to that fact that if Johnson plays football again he will be applauded you only have to look at Marlon King he got the ovation from football despite of his violent & criminal behaviour.

            • “you only have to look at Marlon King he got the ovation from football despite of his violent & criminal behaviour.”


              Hard to believe that many celebrity Blades not only reserved the right to remain silent but cheered the perpetually violent King’s first goal at Bramall Lane, despite him being accused and bailed for his latest violent crime as well as being on the Sexual Offenders Register.

              Around 12 months later, those same celebrities suddenly found their tongues and became very vociferous at the thought of a falsely accused man having any association with their beloved football club.

              The local MP , club patrons Paul Heaton and Charlie Webster couldn’t voice their concerns quick enough. And let us not forget the saintly Jessica . . .

              “I knew I was in a position where I was going to upset someone whether I said something or didn’t.

              “With my stand at Sheffield United and the association I have with the club, I really just wanted to voice my opinion.

              “It wasn’t about putting pressure on the club or anything like that – it was just simply about how I felt.

              “I think people can be rehabilitated and if they have served time in jail can go back into society, but I just feel that when you are in a really privileged position it’s quite different.”

              It’s a game of two halves.

    9. The focus should be on the behaviour of the perpetrator but they like to flip this as if the fact that: someone condemns their known behaviour at that time, refuses to cheer them on etc negates the truth of what THEY did. Similarly if they bleat hard enough about their sense of injustice it will erase literally stealing into a hotel room, where a woman is naked and having sex, watching it for a while and then joining in without speak a word to her. Ched Evans has no-one but himself to blame for the mess he rightly found himself in and in my view is as guilty as charged. No amount of deflection, or attempting to header his own behaviour away is going to change that. Same applies to Rolf Harris.

      • It serves him right. These guys have so much privilege why they can’t just enjoy it without acting like raving sex beasts is beyond comprehension.

        • I can’t imagine there were no sixteens willing to thrown themselves at him – and if he had taken up the offer it would still stink but he would still be a free man; you have to draw a line somewhere.

          The line that he he looked up “age of consent” on the internet because he had seen a documentary about it must have had the jury wondering if he thought they were stupid.