Ched Evans rape conviction quashed as Wales footballer wins appeal

Footballer was convicted of raping a 19-year-old girl at a hotel in Wales in 2012

Caroline Mortimer
Thursday 21 April 2016 09:34 BST
Ched Evans rape conviction is quashed

Footballer Ched Evans has won an appeal against his rape conviction and will face a retrial.

The player was convicted in 2012 of raping a 19-year-old woman at a hotel near Rhyl, and sentenced to five years in prison.

He was released on licence in 2014 and has not played professionally since.

The striker, now 27, has always maintained his innocence and formally launched a bid to have his sentence overturned at the Court of Appeal last month.

Evans and former Port Vale player Clayton McDonald admitted having sex with the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, but said it was consensual.

McDonald was acquitted of rape following their trial at Caernarfon Crown Court in 2012.

Lady Justice Hallett, Mr Justice Flaux and Sir David Maddison quashed the 2012 conviction and ordered a fresh trial after hearing submissions over two days last month.

Lady Justice Hallet said in court that "revelant and admissible evidence has come to light that was not available at trial, and that undermines the safety of his conviction".

She said: "In summary, we have concluded that we must allow the appeal and it is in the interest of justice that we must order a retrial".

The former Welsh international was in court with his girlfriend, Natasha Massey, during the proceedings.

Evans' conviction was referred to the Court of Appeal for review by the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), which investigates possible miscarriages of justice.

Details of the grounds for appeal cannot be reported for legal reasons.

The court judgment said Evans must be re-arraigned on the rape charge within two months of their decision.

Following his release, Evans' attempts to sign with football clubs provoked outrage among fans, commentators and patrons of the sport.

Olympic champion Jessica Ennis-Hill said she wanted her name removed from the stands at the Bramall Lane stadium if he was allowed to play for the club again.

Additional reporting by PA

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