A Court of Appeal in London has quashed a conviction for rape on former Manchester City and Sheffield United star Ched Evans –with the star set to face a new trial.
The ex-Wales international who was jailed in 2012 for raping a 19-year-old at a Premier Inn near Rhyl, Denbighshire was released from jail in October 2014 after serving half of his five-year term.
Evans and former Port Vale player Clayton McDonald who admitted having sex with the woman on 30 May 2011 has always denied raping the woman, insisting it was consensual. McDonald was acquitted of rape at their trial at Caernarfon Crown Court.
Speaking outside court Mr Evans’s solicitor Shaun Draycott said:
“Ched Evans is extremely grateful that the court of appeal has ruled that his conviction for rape was unsafe and should be quashed.” Draycott is quoted as saying on the BBC.
According to the British tabloid, the striker’s case was referred to the Court of Appeal by the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), which investigates possible miscarriages of justice in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, after new evidence emerged.
Lady Justice Hallett who in company of Justice Flaux and Sir David Maddison heard submissions over two days from Kieran Vaughan QC, for Mr Evans, and from Eleanor Laws QC, for the Crown in her announcement of the court’s decision affirmed that the judges heard “fresh evidence” during the appeal hearing on 22 and 23 March.
“In summary, we have concluded that we must allow the appeal and that it is in the interests of justice to order a retrial.
“The appellant will be retried on the allegation of rape.” Hallett stated
Evans who started his career at Manchester City before moving to Sheffield United, where he scored 48 goals has not been signed by a new club since his release from prison. He also played for Premier League outfit Norwich City.