Ched Evans rape trial: Woman 'left crying hysterically' after alleged attack at hotel

'When she calmed down, she told me that she had woken up in the Premier Inn naked and had no idea how she had got there,' says alleged victim's friend

Benjamin Wright
Thursday 06 October 2016 18:46 BST
Footballer Ched Evans and partner Natasha Massey arrive at Cardiff Crown Court
Footballer Ched Evans and partner Natasha Massey arrive at Cardiff Crown Court (PA)

A woman arrived at a friend's house in a hysterical state hours after allegedly being raped by footballer Ched Evans, a court has heard.

Cardiff Crown Court heard the complainant woke up naked and confused in a room at the Premier Inn in Rhyl which had been paid for by the Wales striker.

Jurors have been told "sex noises" were heard coming from inside Room 14 - and that Evans had arrived at the hotel 15 minutes after his friend and the woman turned up together.

Evans, whose original conviction was quashed before a retrial ordered, denies raping the woman and insists the sex they had was consensual.

On the third day of the case, jurors heard the complainant arrived at friend's around an hour after waking up alone on May 30 before banging on the door loudly.

The witness, who cannot be named, told police in a statement: "When I opened the door she was crying hysterically. She was sobbing, trying to catch her breath and I gave her a hug to calm her down.

"When she calmed down, she told me that she had woken up in the Premier Inn naked and had no idea how she had got there."

The court heard that the alleged offence took place in the early hours of May 30 2011.

The night before, Evans had paid £92 for a room under the name of Clayton McDonald - a friend with whom he later went "out on the town".

The complainant was also out that night, and told police she had drunk two large 250ml glasses of wine beforehand. She also said she later bought four double vodka and lemonades as well as a shot of sambuca while in a nightclub in Rhyl.

In her evidence on Wednesday, the woman said she feared someone had spiked her drink while in the club because she did not think she had drunk excessively.

The prosecution have said there was no suggestion that either Evans or Mr McDonald spiked the woman's drink - if that was indeed what had happened.

Tests on the woman later showed traces of cocaine and cannabis in her system. She admitted using both drugs, but insisted she had not done so recently.

The jury has also been shown CCTV footage of the woman leaving the club and going to the Godfather takeaway before getting a taxi with Mr McDonald to the Premier Inn.

Jurors heard the police statement of takeaway owner Sohail Aslam, who described the woman as being drunk and "falling over" when she came in at 3.10am.

That account was also echoed by taxi driver Lee Jones, who had driven the woman and Mr McDonald to the budget hotel.

Mr Jones, who worked for Rhyl-based firm Coastline Taxis at the time, said: "I think she was drunk, yes."

He said the woman sat in the front, eating a pizza, while a male - later identified as Mr McDonald - was in the back using his phone.

Prosecuting counsel Simon Medland QC asked the witness whether he had heard the male say anything while on the phone.

Mr Jones replied: "I think he said he was with a girl and that he was going back to the Premier Inn."

The taxi driver agreed with Mr Medland that in his original police statement he told officers that Mr McDonald had used a "slang" word to the person on the phone, which he understood to mean "girl".

And Mr Jones said that, while it was the girl who had flagged down the cab, it was Mr McDonald who had asked for them to be taken to the Premier Inn.

At around 4.10am, the taxi pulled up at the hotel and the woman and Mr McDonald got out together.

Hotel night receptionist Gavin Burrough described the woman as being extremely drunk.

He told the jury: "She was unsteady on her feet.

"Her eyes were glazed over and she had a vacant expression on her face. She didn't seem to realise I was there. She seemed to look straight through me.

"I did ask if she was OK. Did I get a reply? No."

After retrieving a pizza box from outside the hotel, the woman and Mr McDonald walked off towards the room - without asking for a key from reception.

Around 15 minutes later, the court heard, Evans arrived in a taxi with two other men.

Mr Burrough said the defendant, whom he did not know at the time, came up to the reception desk and asked for a key.

However, questions were asked because the room had been booked in the name of Clayton McDonald.

Mr Burrough said: "He (Evans) said the room had originally been booked for his friend but his friend no longer needed the room and he would use it instead."

After Evans gave his address - which matched the details on the hotel's computer - and produced his driving licence as proof of his identity, a key for Room 14 was issued.

However, the witness said he was "concerned" that the other two men in the taxi outside may have been in the room too - which was against company rules.

Mr Burrough said he then went to check on Room 14 and, from the corridor, heard a man's voice say "Are you going to suck this cock or what?"

The witness said the woman did not reply and a male voice said "No?"

Mr Burrough said he then returned to reception and saw Mr McDonald about 15 minutes later asking for the number of a taxi.

The receptionist also said he had seen the two men from the taxi outside "standing close" to Room 14's window and appearing to look inside.

During cross-examination by defence counsel Judy Khan QC, Mr Burrough was asked about the statement he had given to police.

He agreed that he told officers the woman had said to Mr McDonald when entering the hotel: "You are not going to leave me here, are you?"

Mr Burrough also agreed with Miss Khan that the hotel's CCTV footage showed the woman picking up a pizza box from the floor while wearing "very high platform shoes".

Jurors also heard a transcript of Evans being interviewed by police - prior to him being charged in July.

The then Sheffield United player told officers that he had texted childhood friend Mr McDonald asking him go for a night out in Rhyl during a week off.

Evans said he had booked the hotel for Mr McDonald while he planned to stay with family nearby.

"We we all having a great time in Zu Bar ... lovely birds, and then we left to go to the kebab shop," he told police.

Evans said he became separated from Mr McDonald after one of their friends was racially abused by another reveller.

The former Norwich City loanee later received a text from his friend saying "I've got a girl".

He said he decided to go the Premier Inn via taxi with his younger brother and another friend "for a laugh" and also so they could tell Mr McDonald that one of their friends had been arrested.

The trio "tapped on the window" but got no answer. Evans said he then decided to get a room key from reception and go into the room.

Evans told police: "I thought that Clay would be asleep ... (but) he was having sex with a woman. He said to the girl 'Can my mate join in?' and she said 'Yeah' straight away and that was that."

The defendant said his younger brother and a friend initially watched and were "giggling" at the window before leaving.

Evans told police that, while he had never met the girl before and did not know her name, he was sure she had given him consent to have sex.

He added: "No one was drunker than anyone else.

"She wasn't slumping about or acting really drunk.

"Was I drunk? Yeah, I was just enjoying it.

"She was just on the bed and she was enjoying it."

Evans told police he and Mr McDonald had a threesome together three or four years previously and they "often" saw each other naked when they lived together in the past.

The St Asaph-born footballer said that at the time he had a girlfriend, which was why he decided not to stay the night.

He said to police: "She (my girlfriend) hates me going out because the girls throw themselves at you and that's part and parcel of being a footballer."

Evans said that partway through the threesome at the Premier Inn, Mr McDonald walked out.

He said he carried on for a short while, but suddenly stopped having unprotected sex with the woman before turning the light on, getting dressed and then leaving himself.

When asked by police as to how the woman reacted, he said: "She just huffed and rolled over and went to sleep."

Evans said he then walked out through the fire escape before deciding to walk home.

The trial continues.

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