Police investigate naming of rape victim on Twitter

Police are investigating the "profoundly disturbing" public naming of a rape victim who was then subjected to abusive comments on Twitter.

The barrage of insults followed the sentencing on Friday of Ched Evans, 23, a Sheffield United and Wales footballer. He was jailed for five years at Caernarfon Crown Court after being found guilty of raping a woman who was "too drunk to consent" to sexual intercourse.

Victims of rape and sexual assault are guaranteed lifetime anonymity. Naming a complainant, regardless of the outcome of the case, is contempt of court and can be punishable with a prison term. North Wales Police said it would deal "robustly" with social media users who allegedly named and abused the woman.

Sheffield United announced it had launched a separate investigation into comments made by defender Connor Brown, 19, on Twitter. Mr Brown's comments supported his team mate and, it was reported, called the victim a "money-grabbing little tramp".

Other Twitter users then allegedly named Evans's victim.

Evans admitted having sex with the victim, who was then 19, at a hotel in in Rhyl, Denbighshire, last May. The victim said she had no memory of the incident and the court found she was too drunk to consent.

Detective Chief Inspector Steve Williams said: "North Wales Police are aware of reports of comments on social media sites and are collating all relevant information which is currently being reviewed."

A statement posted on the club's website said: "The club is aware of a very serious matter regarding comments made through the Twitter account of one of its players. As a result we have launched an inquiry."

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map
Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week

Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
A year of the caliphate:

Isis, a year of the caliphate

Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

Marks and Spencer

Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

'We haven't invaded France'

Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

Remembering 7/7 ten years on

Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

They’re here to help

We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

What exactly does 'one' mean?

Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue