Nigel Evans trial: Ex-girlfriend of accuser tells court that Tory MP was 'in love' with his parliamentary aide

 

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The Independent Online

The ex-girlfriend of a man allegedly sexually assaulted by the former Commons deputy speaker said she believed the Tory MP was in love with the parliamentary aide who later took his claims to the party’s Chief Whip.

Nigel Evans is accused of inappropriately touching the younger man when he slept over at his constituency home in Pendleton, Lancashire in 2009 – four years before he was arrested on suspicion of rape.

The victim – one of seven young Westminster workers who the former frontbencher is accused of assaulting – was described as “frantic” and “really angry” after waking to discover Mr Evans with his hand down the front of his boxer shorts, Preston Crown Court heard.

The woman, who was the then 23-year-old’s partner, said the MP did not like her and would avoid talking to her when they met.

“I knew he (Evans) was attracted to him. I knew there was frequent, in my view, what I would consider inappropriate contact between them. It's true, I absolutely formed the opinion he had fallen in love with my boyfriend,” she said.

The complainant's mother told the jury she saw her son with the MP the day after the alleged incident. She told the court she felt “sick" when she was told of her son’s claims.

“I know my son. I just felt there was something wrong, it seemed like there was a problem between them," she told Preston Crown Court.

The young man eventually mentioned the alleged incident to Tory MP Sarah Wollaston, saying he feared he would lose his job if he told the authorities but she advised him to tell Commons Speaker John Bercow who told him to go to the police the court was told.

Mr Evans, 56, who denies all the charges against him, was described at the beginning of the trial as a powerful figure within Westminster who was able to “make or break” the careers of ambitious young people.

It was claimed he was warned by senior party figures to modify his drinking and predatory behaviour following claims that he had assaulted the young man. He later went on to be elected Deputy Speaker.

The trial was adjourned until Monday.