Footballer Ched Evans loses rape conviction appeal


Footballer Ched Evans has lost a challenge against his conviction for rape.

The former Sheffield United and Wales striker had his case rejected by three judges at the Court of Appeal in London.

Today's ruling was made by the Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge, sitting with Mr Justice Mitting and Mr Justice Griffith Williams.

The 23-year-old was jailed for five years in April for raping a 19-year-old woman in a hotel room.

Evans denied the offence but was found guilty by a jury at Caernarfon Crown Court of raping her at a hotel in North Wales in May last year.

He admitted having sex with her but the woman told the jury she had no memory of the incident.

The prosecution said the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was too drunk to consent to sexual intercourse.

Port Vale defender Clayton McDonald, 23, who also admitted having sex with the victim, was found not guilty of the same charge.

Lord Judge, rejecting the conviction challenge by Evans, said: "We can see no possible basis which would justify us interfering with the verdict of the jury, which heard all the evidence and reflected on it after careful summing up by the judge."

The judges also threw out a bid by Evans to have his sentence reduced.

A spokesman for law firm Brabners Chaffe Street, which represents Evans, said: "Our client is extremely disappointed with the decision of the Court of Appeal which today refused his request for leave to appeal against his conviction and sentence.

"Our client continues to maintain his innocence in this matter and is currently being advised as to the other legal options available to him.

"He continues to have the full support of his family and friends."

Yesterday nine people were each ordered to pay the victim £624 in one of the first cases of its kind after they admitted revealing her identity on social networks.

The victim's name was circulated on Twitter and Facebook after Evans was convicted.

Some of the defendants also launched abuse at the victim, calling her names like "money-grabbing whore" and "poor little victim", Prestatyn Magistrates' Court heard.

In the wake of Evans's failed appeal bid, North Wales Police took to Twitter to warn users it would be monitoring the social network.

In three separate tweets, the police said: "North Wales Police will continue to monitor social media sites in relation to the #chedevans appeal against conviction."

"We want to discourage anyone from engaging in correspondence that could result in them committing criminal offences.

"Any individuals identified engaging in such conduct will be dealt with robustly."