Ched Evans: Timeline of case as footballer cleared of rape at second trial

The footballer was cleared by a jury at Cardiff Crown Court following the two-week retrial

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The Independent Online

Footballer Ched Evans has been cleared of raping a woman at a hotel in Wales in 2011. 

The 27-year-old was originally convicted in 2012 and served two-and-a-half years in prison before being released in 2014.

He has always maintained his innocence and said he had had consensual sex with the woman.

Here is how the case unfolded:

May 2011:

Father-of-one Mr Evans is arrested in north Wales.

July 2011: 

Mr Evans is charged with raping a woman.

April 2012:

Mr Evans is convicted of rape following a trial at Caernarfon Crown Court, in Wales, in which he maintained his innocence throughout. He is sentenced to a five-year term.

May 2012:

Mr Evans is released by his club, Sheffield United, at the end of the season.

November 2012:

Mr Evans loses his appeal against the conviction at London’s Court of Appeal.

August 2014:

An online petition is launched urging Sheffield United not to re-sign Mr Evans.

October 2014:

The former Wales international is released from prison after serving half of his sentence and states his desire to return to football.

November 2014:

Then Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, MP for Sheffield Hallam, says Mr Evans should be allowed to train with Sheffield United.

The father of the woman Mr Evans was accused of raping complains to the attorney general about a website set up in support of the now 27-year-old ex-striker.

Sheffield United confirms that Mr Evans will resume training with the club.

Olympic gold medallist Jessica Ennis-Hill says she will ask Sheffield United to remove her name from the Bramall Lane stand at the club’s ground if it offers Mr Evans a new contract. 

Sheffield United then announces its decision to retract the offer for Mr Evans to train with the club.

December 2014:

Oldham Athletic denies offering Mr Evans the chance to train with the club.

Ronnie Moore, manager of Hartlepool United, announces he would like to sign Mr Evans. A day later, the club releases a statement on its website saying it has no plans to recruit him.

January 2015:

The Ministry of Justice says Mr Evans will not be able to resume his football career with an overseas club after Maltese side Hibernians said they wanted to sign him on a deal until the end of the season. The ministry says strict conditions imposed on convicted sex offenders “effectively rules out working abroad”.

It is revealed that Mr Evans is in new talks with Oldham Athletic about joining the club. A potential signing does not materialise after sponsors say they would cut ties with the club if Mr Evans was signed.

The Attorney General’s office orders an investigation by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) into whether a website set up to support Mr Evans is in contempt of court for allegedly identifying the woman Mr Evans was convicted of raping. 

May 2015: 

The CPS rules that there is “insufficient evidence” for criminal charges to be brought in relation to the website. 

October 2015: 

The Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) refers Mr Evans’ case to the Court of Appeal after it says new evidence has come to light.

April 2016:

Court of Appeal quashes Mr Evans’ conviction and orders a retrial.

October 2016:

Jury finds Mr Evans not guilty of rape following a two-week trial at Cardiff Crown Court.