Five more charged over identification of Ched Evans rape victim

 

Five more people have been charged with revealing online the identity of a woman raped by footballer Ched Evans, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said.

The total number of people charged over publishing matter online that was likely to lead to identification of the victim now stands at nine.

Hollie Price, 25, from Prestatyn, Gemma Thomas, 18, from Rhyl, and Paul Devine, 26, Daniel Cardwell, 25, and Shaun Littler, 22, all from Sheffield, have been charged, the CPS said.

Jim Brisbane, chief crown prosecutor for CPS Cymru-Wales, said: "Further evidential reviews have led us to conclude that there is sufficient evidence to charge a further five people with the offence of publishing a matter likely to lead members of the public to identify the complainant in a rape case, contrary to the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act, 1992.

"As with the previous charges in this matter, the Attorney General has granted consent to these prosecutions.

"All five have been charged by North Wales Police and bailed to appear before Prestatyn Magistrates' Court on the 5th November.

"Reviews in respect of further suspects under investigation by North Wales Police are continuing."

Benjamin Davies, 27, from Rhyl, and Michael Ashton, 21, from Llanddulas, North Wales, were charged yesterday with revealing information on Twitter that could lead to the complainant being identified.

Both have been bailed and will also appear at Prestatyn Magistrates' Court on November 5

Dominic Green, 23, from Rhyl, and Alexandra Hewitt, 24, from Broughton, were charged on Monday for allegedly publishing messages revealing the victim's identity on Facebook.

Former Sheffield United and Wales striker Evans was jailed for five years at Caernarfon Crown Court on April 20 for raping a 19-year-old woman in a Rhyl hotel room.

Evans admitted having sex with her, but the woman told the jury she had no memory of the incident - and the prosecution said she was too drunk to consent to sexual intercourse.

Following the trial, the victim was allegedly named and subjected to abuse on Twitter and other social networking websites.

More than a dozen arrests were made, with North Wales Police saying the alleged online comments were "profoundly disturbing" and contributed to the victim's "continued trauma".

Police met staff at Sky News after the broadcaster inadvertently published the woman's name.

The law gives the victims and alleged victims of rape and other sexual offences lifelong anonymity.

PA

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