Jailed ex-Sunderland star Adam Johnson gets new appeal date

Adam Johnson's custody photo, released by Durham Constabulary.
Adam Johnson's custody photo, released by Durham Constabulary.

Disgraced former Sunderland AFC footballer Adam Johnson has received a date for his appeal against his conviction and six-year sentence.

Johnson, 29, was jailed last March after being found guilty of one count of sexual activity with a child.

He had also pleaded guilty to another count of sexual activity with a child and one count of grooming.

The former England international had a previous application to appeal against his conviction and sentence thrown out by a judge last July.

However, Johnson's sister Faye revealed he has received a hearing date for a second appeal.

She last night posted on Twitter: "Pleased that we now have a date for Adam's appeal against conviction and sentence. I hope that justice can finally be done for my brother."

Johnson's case will be heard at the Court of Appeal on February 28, where he will apply for permission from the full court to appeal against his conviction.

The former Sunderland, Manchester City and Middlesbrough player was jailed in March last year after a trial at Bradford Crown Court.

Johnson's trial heard that the former Sunderland and England winger had kissed and sexually touched the girl in his Range Rover in a secluded spot in County Durham.

Trial judge Jonathan Rose was satisfied the girl had suffered "severe psychological harm" and that Johnson had taken advantage of "a young teenager's adoration of a successful celebrity".

His conviction led Sunderland to say the club was "so very sorry" for letting down the girl, and to the resignation of 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.

After Johnson launched his second appeal against his conviction and sentence last year, the Court of Appeal told the Echo that it would not be heard until 2017.

In November, a spokesman said: “This is going to the summary writers, who summarise everything for the court, but it hasn’t been allocated a summary writer yet.

“There is no timescale for these cases. As soon as a summary has been completed, it will be going to the listings office.

“At the moment, the summary writers, the way they work is they do the urgent cases first and this is not in that bracket, in terms of his release date being quite a way off.

“I don’t think this will be ready for listing this year and might be looking to go into next year.”