Ched Evans rape conviction referred to Court of Appeal by Criminal Cases Review Commission

The footballer was sentenced to five years in 2012 for raping a 19-year-old woman

Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith
Monday 05 October 2015 13:13 BST
The prospect of signing Ched Evans has led several Oldham sponsors to threaten to quit
The prospect of signing Ched Evans has led several Oldham sponsors to threaten to quit (PA)

Ched Evan’s rape conviction has been sent to the Court of Appeal due to new information that was not raised at the trial, the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRG) has said.

Evans was sentenced to five years in jail in April 2012 for raping a 19-year-old woman.

The footballer pleaded not guilty at his trial at Caernarfon Crown Court of raping the woman in a Rhyl Hotel room. He admitted to having sex with the woman but claimed it was consensual.

Later the same year an application for leave to appeal launched by Evans was heard and dismissed by the full court. He was released in October last year after serving half of his sentence and there was a media storm when he was reported to be about to join Hartlepool and Oldham Athletic.

Now the CCRG has referred the case for appeal following a 10 month investigation, during which time it has identified new information that “could have added support to Mr Evan’s defence at trial and therefore raises a real possibility that the Court of Appeal may quash the conviction,” it said in a statement.

Richard Foster, Chair of the CCRG, said:

“The decision of the Commission is not a judgment on guilt or innocence in relation to Ched Evans, nor is it a judgment about the honesty or integrity of the victim or any other person involved in the case.

“Our role is to consider applications to see if, in our judgment, there is any basis on which to ask the court to hear a fresh appeal – that is our statutory responsibility.

“In this case we have identified new material which was not considered by the jury at trial and which in our view might have assisted the defence. In those circumstances, it is right and proper for the matter to be before the Court so that they can decide whether or not the new information should affect the verdict in this case.”

The possible outcomes of Evans’ appeal could either see the Court of Appeal uphold his conviction, overturn the conviction or quash the conviction and order a retrial.

The CCRG's statement added that it was very aware of the impact its decisions can have for victims of crimes and stressed the anonymity guaranteed by law for the victim in this case.

It said: "We have been particularly mindful of the targeted abuse suffered by the victim in this case and have sought to act accordingly.

"Since this application arrived in July 2014, we have been careful to keep her informed about stages of the commission's review so that, as far as it has been in our power to do so, she has learned about developments in the case from us rather than from any other source."

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