Three held over naming of rape victim on Twitter

Three men have been arrested as part of the investigation into the naming on Twitter of the victim in the Ched Evans rape case, police said yesterday.

The Sheffield United footballer was jailed for five years last week for raping a 19-year-old woman in a hotel room.

Two of the men have been arrested under Section 5 of the Sexual Offences Amendments Act and the third is being held on suspicion of malicious communication, police said.

They are being interviewed by officers from North Wales Police in Sheffield. Detective chief inspector Steve Williams of North Wales Police said the arrests were part of an ongoing investigation.

Wales international striker Evans, 23, was jailed for five years at Caernarfon Crown Court on Friday after being found guilty of raping the woman, who was "too drunk to consent". After the trial, the victim was allegedly named and subjected to abuse on Twitter and other websites.

North Wales Police described the online comments as "profoundly disturbing" and said they added to the young woman's "continued trauma".

Rape and other sexual assault victims are guaranteed the legal right to lifetime anonymity.

Evans admitted having sex with the victim, then aged 19, at a hotel in North Wales last May. The prosecution argued that she was too drunk to consent.

Evans' co-accused, Port Vale defender Clayton McDonald, 23, who also admitted having sex with the victim, was found not guilty. Evans is appealing against his sentence.

Sheffield United defender Connor Brown was suspended by the club for comments he allegedly made on Twitter after the trial.