In the Media

Ex-Sheffield United and Wales striker Ched Evans appeals rape conviction

PUBLISHED November 6, 2012

A footballer jailed for rape launches a new challenge against his conviction today.

Former Sheffield United and Wales striker Ched Evans will have his case heard by three judges at the Court of Appeal.

The 23-year-old was jailed for five years in April for raping a 19-year-old woman in a hotel room.

Evans denied the offence, but was found guilty by a jury at Caernarfon Crown Court of raping her at a hotel in North Wales in May 2011.

He admitted having sex with her, but the woman told the jury that she had no memory of the incident.

The prosecution said the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was too drunk to consent to sexual intercourse.

Port Vale defender Clayton McDonald, 23, who also admitted having sex with the victim, was found not guilty of the same charge.

The Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge, sitting with Mr Justice Mitting and Mr Justice Griffith Williams in London, will hear a renewed application by Evans for leave to appeal against conviction.

Evans lost the first stage of the appeal process in August when his application for leave was rejected by a single judge considering the case on the papers.

Submissions on his behalf will be presented to the full court today in a bid to have the conviction overturned.

Yesteday nine people pleaded guilty to revealing online the identity of Evan's rape victim.

The victim's name was circulated on social network sites, including Twitter and Facebook, following Evans' conviction at Caernarfon Crown Court in April.

Some of the defendants who were friends or relatives of Evans also launched abuse at the victim, calling her names like ''money grabbing whore'' and ''poor little victim''.

Benjamin Davies, 27, of Rhyl; Michael Ashton, 21, of Llanddulas; Dominic Green 23, of Rhyl; Craig MacDonald 26, of Prestatyn; Holly Price, 25, of Prestatyn and Gemma Thomas, 18, of Rhyl, all north Wales all admitted the offence.

Paul Devine, 26; Daniel Cardwell, 25 and and Shaun Littler, 22, all Sheffield, also pleaded guilty. District Judge Andrew Shaw ordered the defendants to pay the victim compensation of £624 each.

He said: ''It's a crime against women which subjects them to the most intimate personal violation.''

Mr Shaw said that the defendants who were related or were friends of Evans had posted the comments with ''deliberate malice''.

He added: ''Your actions have re-victimised this woman again.''