Ched Evans trial: Judge tells jurors 'drunken consent is still consent'

Judge gave jury 'route to verdict' to help them come to a verdict

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The Independent Online

Footballer Ched Evans has been cleared of raping a woman in a Welsh hotel in 2011 following a two-week retrial. 

The jury found him not guilty after being given a "route to verdict" by Ms Justice Nicola Davies. 

She said prior to the verdict that the issue of consent was central to case and that Mr Evans should be found guilty if the jury believed he did not reasonably believe the teenager consented to sex. 

But she said that drunken consent was still consent - and if the jury believed that was the case then they should find Mr Evans not guilty.

She said: "Your decision must be made calmly, objectively and without emotion.

"You are not here to judge the morals of any person in this case and this includes the complainant and the defendant.

"You are to try this case on the evidence you hear in this court in this trial and nothing else."

The judge gave the jurors three questions to consider when deciding whether Mr Evans guilty or not to help them understand the legal complexities of the case. 

These were the three questions:

Question 1:

Are you sure that when the defendant intentionally penetrated the vagina of the complainant she did not consent to it?

If you are sure that she did not consent, go to question two.

If you conclude that she did consent or may have consented your verdict is NOT GUILTY.

Question 2:

Are you sure that the defendant did NOT genuinely believe that the complainant consented?

If you are sure that the defendant did not believe the complainant was consenting, your verdict is GUILTY.

If you conclude the defendant did believe or may have believed that the complainant was consenting go to question three.

Question 3:

Are you sure that the defendant's belief in the complainant's consent was unreasonable?

If you are sure it was not a reasonably held belief then your verdict is GUILTY.

If you conclude that it was or may have been a reasonably held belief then your verdict is NOT GUILTY.

Additional reporting by PA