Ched Evans: Court hears what happened on night out as footballer cleared of rape

The footballer says he had consensual sex with the woman before leaving the room via a fire exit

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The Independent Online

Welsh international footballer Ched Evans has been cleared of rape – and as details of his trial emerge, what happened in the early hours of 30 May 2011 has been revealed.

The jury at Cardiff Crown Court heard Mr Evans had been on a night out in Rhyl in north Wales on 29 May with his friend and fellow footballer Clayton McDonald.

The pair had been drinking whisky and coke throughout the evening and at 2.30am they went to a kebab shop called The Godfather to eat.

CCTV images show the alleged victim falling over inside the kebab shop, with Mr Evans, who was 22 at the time of the incident, pointing and walking past her.

Later, Mr McDonald and the unnamed woman took a taxi to a Premier Inn, which had been booked by Mr Evans, and Mr McDonald sent a message to Mr Evans during the journey to say he had “got a bird”.

Mr Evans later arrived at the hotel in a taxi, along with his younger brother Ryan Roberts and a friend. He claimed he had turned up at the hotel primarily to inform Mr McDonald that one of their group had been arrested.

The footballer admitted lying to obtain a key for the room, telling the night receptionist that his friend no longer needed it.

He walked into the room where Mr McDonald was having sex with the woman – a decision he called “childish” as he suspected his friend may have been having sex.

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The inside of Room 14 at the Premier Inn, near Rhyl, where footballer Ched Evans cheated on partner Natasha Massey with a teenager in 2011 (PA)

Mr Evans told the court Mr McDonald asked the woman: “Can my mate join in?”, to which she replied: “Yes.”

He said Mr McDonald – with whom he had engaged in a threesome in 2009 after a game of strip poker – and the woman were both naked when he entered the room.

He insisted he had consensual sex with the woman before getting up and leaving via a fire exit door after realising he was cheating on his girlfriend Natasha Massey.

The footballer did not speak to the claimant before, during, or after sex. He admitted he left the hotel room without saying goodbye to the woman, kissing or thanking her.

Mr Roberts and his friend were outside the room watching through a window and trying to film what was happening inside, reported The Guardian.

Mr Evans undressed and had sex with the woman after Mr McDonald had stopped. “She was making noises like she was enjoying herself,” he said.

He claimed the woman did not seem too drunk to consent to sex and had asked him to “f**k me harder” on more than one occasion.

Mr Evans stopped having sex with the woman after Mr McDonald dressed and left the room. When asked why he did not continue, Mr Evans said that being alone with the woman made him realise he was cheating on his girlfriend.

“When I pulled away she grabbed the corner of the quilt over herself, looked over at me and huffed,” he said. “I started to get dressed.”

After leaving the hotel through the fire exit door, he met up with Mr McDonald and the pair walked to Mr Evans's family home nearby.

They were arrested in Cheshire on 31 May. Prosecutors alleged the complainant was too drunk to consent to sex and awoke hours later confused and alone in the room.

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Ched Evans and his girlfriend Natasha Massey (Getty)

Mr Evans, now 27, was originally convicted of rape. He served half of a five-year prison sentence before being released but there was a public outcry when he attempted to return to professional football.

After losing his first appeal, Mr Evans's family employed private investigators to gather new evidence about the alleged victim's sex life, a rare move which has been widely condemned.

Mr Evans joined League One club Chesterfield FC after the Court of Appeal quashed his conviction and ordered a retrial earlier this year.

A jury of seven women and five men found Mr Evans not guilty following three hours of deliberations after the eight-day retrial.

The investigators spoke to two men who had sex with the woman in the months before she alleged she had been raped by the footballer in May 2011.

Both gave accounts of the woman's sexual preferences that were similar to the description put forward by Mr Evans at his original trial and supported his assertion that she did consent to having sex with him.

Normally in trials involving sexual offences, a complainant's sexual history is not put before a jury.

But Mr Evans's legal team sought permission under Section 41 of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act to question the complainant at his new trial about the statements the two men had made.

Additional reporting from Press Association