Nigel Evans trial: Former Deputy Speaker was ‘staggered’ by rape accusation


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The Independent Online

Former Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans admitted having sex with a man 33 years his junior but told police: “We are not talking about a wilting flower here.”

The MP, who denies a series of sex offences, told detectives he was “staggered” at being arrested and accused of rape, Preston Crown Court heard.

Evans is said to have raped the man, then aged 22, after a dinner party at his home in Pendleton, Lancashire, in March 2013.

Today, the jury heard his answers to questions from detectives at Preston Police Station after his arrest on 4 May last year, five weeks after the alleged sexual assault.

Evans, 56, told officers: “Did I have sexual contact with him, the answer is yes.

“Was it non-consensual, the answer is no.”

The MP for Ribble Valley said that after drinking champagne and red wine his other dinner guests left his home, leaving him alone with the man, who was intending to stay over in his spare room.

But they began “caressing and kissing” downstairs and Evans said when he went upstairs to go into his bedroom the young man said: “Should I follow you?” He said they then each took their own clothes off and had sex.

Speaking about the alleged victim, Evans told police at the time: “We are not talking about a wilting flower here. We are talking about someone who is gay and knows I am gay.”

He said he was “a bit mystified” that at some point the man could think what was going to happen was not consensual.

“Had he not wished to have any sexual contact with me he could have said so, which he never did. He could have gone up to his own bed,” he said.

“As far as I was concerned everything that occurred was consensual. I’m somewhat staggered by the allegations he is now making.”

Evans is alleged to have sexually assaulted seven young men between 2002 and last year by using his “powerful” political influence to take advantage of them. He denies one rape, two indecent assaults and six sexual assaults.

The MP told officers there was a “loose arrangement” for the young man to stay over and sleep in the loft conversion. He said all his guests had been drinking but none were drunk.