Adam Johnson, the disgraced former England and Sunderland footballer, must wait to discover if he is to be granted permission to challenge his conviction for sexual activity with a teenage fan. The 29-year-old, who was jailed for six years in March after being convicted of sexual activity with a 15-year-old following a trial at Bradford crown court, is also seeking a reduction in his sentence. Three appeal court judges on Tuesday reserved judgment after hearing his renewed application. It has previously been rejected by a single judge. His application to appeal centres on claims the original trial judge, Jonathan Rose, misdirected the jury in his summing up. Eleanor Laws QC, representing Johnson, also said the judge should have intervened to stop “irrelevant and emotive” cross-examination of Johnson, which undermined Johnson’s credibility. Johnson’s trial heard that the player 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 that he sexually touched her in an intimate area. The appeal court heard Johnson was subjected to “emotive and highly prejudicial” questioning from the prosecution over his delay in admitting he had kissed her, and was repeatedly questioned about “where his conscience was” and the “excruciating pain” that delay had caused his victim.
Adam Johnson must wait to discover if appeal can proceed
The Guardian | Mar 1