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Evans jailed for five years over rape
Published : 20 Apr 2012 16:17:25Rss feed
Sheffield United and Wales footballer Ched Evans has been jailed for five years for raping a teenager who was 'too drunk to consent' to sex as two of his friends watched and tried to film it on a mobile phone.
Evans was found guilty of raping the then 19-year-old at a hotel following a night out in Rhyl, north Wales, last May. His co-defendant, Port Vale defender Clayton McDonald, was found not guilty of the same charge.
The court heard that both men admitted they had sex with the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, but the prosecution said she was too drunk to consent to sexual intercourse.
In her evidence to police, the woman said she has no memory of the incident and believes her drink may have been spiked.
The jury first returned a not guilty verdict on McDonald after four hours and 52 minutes of deliberations. McDonald, of Crewe, Cheshire, looked elated as the verdict was read out.
His family and friends in the public gallery reacted by shouting "Yes, yes". One man left the courtroom and could be heard screaming. Judge Merfyn Hughes QC then rose and everyone in the public gallery was ordered to leave the court.
McDonald remained in the dock with Evans, 23, of Penistone, South Yorkshire, who held his head in his hands and cried hysterically.
When the judge returned to the court, the jury foreman gave the guilty verdict against Evans. The centre forward threw the headphones he was using to follow the trial on the floor and then looked shocked.
In a statement released via Sheffield United's website, Evans's lawyers said he is "shocked and extremely disappointed" with the verdict. They added: "Mr Evans firmly maintains his innocence in this matter and is being advised regarding an appeal of the decision."
Sheffield United said the club recognised "the seriousness of these events and as such wishes to respond in a responsible way when it has taken sufficient time to consider the matter fully".
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