Wednesday 22 January 2020

Video: Footballer jailed for rape of victim who was drunk

Alex Diaz in Cardiff

SHEFFIELD United and Wales striker Ched Evans was jailed for five years yesterday after being convicted of raping a woman who was "too drunk to consent" to sex.

The footballer (23) is now considering an appeal against the jury's verdict at Caernarfon Crown Court in Wales, where his co-defendant, Port Vale defender Clayton McDonald, was found not guilty of the same charge.

Both men admitted having sex with the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, but the prosecution said she was too drunk to consent. In her evidence, the woman said she had no memory of the incident.

Evans's lawyers said the footballer was "shocked and extremely disappointed" by the verdict. They added: "Mr Evans firmly maintains his innocence in this matter and is being advised regarding an appeal of the decision."

Hotel

The two footballers first met 10 years ago when they were both at the Manchester City youth academy and shared digs during their teenage years.

The incident happened at a Premier Inn near Rhyl after a night out in the seaside town on May 29, 2011.

The trial, which began on April 11 this year, heard that Mr McDonald met the woman on the street after visiting a takeaway in the early hours of the next morning.

He took her back to the hotel where they had sex. They were joined by Evans, who also had intercourse with her.

Mr McDonald claimed that Evans asked if he could get involved, while Evans said it was Mr McDonald who asked him if he wanted to have sex with the woman.

Giving evidence, Mr McDonald said the woman was "moaning and groaning like she was enjoying herself".

Evans told the jury she consented and was "in control of her actions".

Sentencing Evans, Judge Merfyn Hughes said: "The complainant was 19 years of age and was extremely intoxicated. As the jury have found, she was in no condition to have sexual intercourse.

"When you arrived at the hotel, you must have realised that. You have thrown away the successful career in which you were involved."

He told Evans he must serve at least half of the five-year sentence before he can be paroled.

David Fish QC, in mitigation for Evans, said it was a "sad day" for the footballer, whose career "has now been lost".

Detective Chief Inspector Steve Williams of the North Wales Police, said: "I would like to pay tribute to the courage of the victim in this case, who has shown a great deal of resilience and strength in very difficult circumstances.

"I hope that the guilty verdict will provide some closure on this horrendous ordeal for the victim and that she will be able to rebuild her life, which was shattered by these events."

Irish Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News