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.