Johnson lodges appeal against conviction - what happens next?

Ex-Sunderland star has lodged an appeal against his conviction for sexual activity with an underage fan.

Thursday, 24th March 2016, 5:28 pm
Updated Thursday, 24th March 2016, 6:23 pm
Police guarding Bradford Crown Court this morning. Picture by Peter Byrne/PA Wire.
Police guarding Bradford Crown Court this morning. Picture by Peter Byrne/PA Wire.

The 28-year-old was jailed for six years today at Bradford Crown Court.

He pleaded guilty to grooming and one count of sexual activity of a child, and was found guilty of another after a trial. He was found not guilty of a further count.

At the sentencing hearing today, Johnson's barrister said the footballer had launched an appeal this morning.

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Here's what will happen next:

On what grounds can he appeal?

Convicted criminals can normally only appeal if something went ‘wrong’ at the trial - for example if an important court procedure wasn’t followed properly, or if there’s new evidence.

What happens in the appeal process?

Johnson will have had to apply to the Criminal Appeal Office to get permission to appeal. They will then put the application before a judge.

What happens if you get permission to appeal?

If permission is granted, Johnson’s appeal will be heard by the Court of Appeal. A few weeks before the hearing he will get a letter telling him where and when it is.

What happens if he doesn’t get permission to appeal?

Johnson will receive notification he has been denied permission to appeal. He will then have the right to renew his application and ask a ‘full court’ of two or three judges to give him permission. The letter will tell him how he can do this. If he is not given permission to appeal by the full court, he can contact the Criminal Cases Review Commission.

What will happen if Johnson wins his appeal?

If he wins, his conviction will no longer stand, and he may be able to get compensation.

If he loses his appeal, his original conviction will stay the same. He won’t be able to appeal again unless the Criminal Cases Review Commission refers his case back to the Court of Appeal.