Sunday 4 December 2016

Ched Evans tells rape trial alleged victim appeared to be 'enjoying herself'

Benjamin Wright and Claire Hayhurst

Published 11/10/2016 | 09:42

Footballer Ched Evans outside at Cardiff Crown Court
Footballer Ched Evans outside at Cardiff Crown Court

Footballer Ched Evans has denied raping a teenager in a hotel room - insisting that she was not too drunk to give consent.

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The 27-year-old striker is on trial for a second time over allegations he attacked the woman at a Premier Inn near Rhyl, North Wales, in May 2011.

Evans, who now plays for League One side Chesterfield, was previously found guilty of rape but this conviction was later quashed by the Court of Appeal.

Giving his evidence-in-chief at the retrial at Cardiff Crown Court, the 13-cap Wales international told the jury he had consensual sex with the woman.

He arrived at the £92 hotel room after friend Clayton McDonald, also a footballer, sent him a message to say he had "got a bird", the court heard.

"I was being juvenile, I was being childish," Evans said. "I didn't know for sure what would be happening in the room.

"I thought they might be having sex. They were in fact having sex.

"When I walked in, the door slammed behind me and they both looked at me.

"Clay looked at her and said 'can my mate join in?' She looked at me and said 'yes'."

Evans said Mr McDonald - who he had engaged in a threesome with in 2009 after a game of strip poker - and the woman were both naked when he entered the room.

His brother, Ryan Roberts, and friend Jack Higgins had also gone to the hotel and were watching through the window of the room.

The court heard Evans, who was 22 at the time of the incident, undressed and had sex with the woman after Mr McDonald had stopped.

"She was making noises like she was enjoying herself," Evans said.

He claimed the woman did not seem too drunk to consent to sex and had asked him to "f*** me harder" on more than one occasion.

Evans stopped having sex with the woman after Mr McDonald dressed and left the room, he said.

When asked why he did not continue, Evans said that being alone with the woman made him realise he was cheating on his girlfriend Natasha Massey.

"When I pulled away she grabbed the corner of the quilt over herself, looked over at me and huffed," he said.

"I started to get dressed."

The court heard Evans is still in a relationship with Miss Massey, whom he plans to marry, and they have a nine-month-old son.

After leaving the hotel through a fire exit door, he met up with Mr McDonald and the pair walked to Evans' family home nearby.

They were arrested in Cheshire on May 31. Mr McDonald was acquitted of raping the woman during the earlier trial.

The jury heard Evans and Mr McDonald had been on a night out in Rhyl on May 29, drinking whisky and Coke throughout the evening.

At 2.30am the following morning, the pair went to The Godfather, a kebab shop, and ate food there.

CCTV images show the alleged victim falling over inside the kebab shop, with Evans pointing and walking past her.

Later, Mr McDonald and the woman took a taxi to the Premier Inn, which had been booked by Evans.

During cross-examination, Evans confirmed he had had unprotected sex with the woman and did not know her name at that time.

"Looking back, I am ashamed. On reflection I should not have behaved that way," he told the jury.

He said he had left the hotel room without saying goodbye to the woman, kissing her or thanking her.

Prosecuting, Simon Medland QC suggested that Evans had left by the fire exit door to "cover your tracks", which the defendant denied.

Evans also questioned how drunk the woman was, suggesting that her fall in the kebab shop could have been due to her high heels.

"In the CCTV, you can see she was drunk, but she wasn't behaving like that in the room," Evans said.

Judy Khan QC, defending Evans, asked him: "Was there any doubt in your mind that she was consenting?"

Evans replied: "None, no."

He said the woman was aware of what was happening and "seemed like she was having sex and enjoying herself".

"Did she appear to be too drunk to consent?" Ms Khan asked.

Evans said: "No."

Ms Khan asked: "If she had been too drunk to consent would you have had sex with her?"

Evans replied: "No."

In her final question to Evans in his evidence-in-chief, Ms Khan asked: "Did you rape her, Mr Evans?"

He replied: "No."

Evans denies one charge of rape and the trial continues.

Press Association

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