Crime

Ched Evans wins appeal against rape conviction and will now face a retrial

The decision was announced at the Royal Courts of Justice. Image: Al Riddell.

The decision was announced in Court 6 at the Royal Courts of Justice. Image: Al Riddell.

Footballer Ched Evans has won his appeal against his conviction for raping a 19 year old woman.

But Court of Appeal judges in London have ordered that he must face a retrial.

Mr. Evans served two-and-a-half years of a five year sentence after he was convicted in 2012 of raping a 19-year-old woman in north Wales.

The former English Premier League and Championship player, who played for Sheffield United, Manchester City and Norwich before his conviction, was released from jail on license in October 2014.

He has not played professionally since then, despite being linked to Sheffield United and Oldham Athletic.

Ched Evans celebrates after scoring a goal for his old club Sheffield United.

In a statement read by his solicitor, he said he was ‘extremely grateful’ for the ruling.

Speaking outside the Royal Courts of Justice, solicitor Shaun Draycott said:

Ched Evans is extremely grateful that the Court of Appeal has ruled that his conviction for rape was unsafe and should be quashed.

He wants to thank his lawyers… for their hard work and commitment in relation to the CCRC application and the appeal, as well as his partner Natasha, their families and friends and all those members of the public who have offered him support throughout.

No further statement will be made as it is acknowledged by Mr Evans that the legal process has not reached a final conclusion and there will be further hearings of significance on dates to be fixed in due course.

Ched Evans started his career at Manchester City before moving to Sheffield United for £3 million.

The appeal, which was heard on March 22nd and 23rd, highlighted new evidence relevant to the case.

The specifics of the evidence cannot be revealed due to reporting restrictions.

Lady Justice Hallett, announcing the decision at the Court of Appeal said:

On 22 and 23 March we heard argument and we heard the fresh evidence.

In summary, we have concluded that we must allow the appeal and that it is in the interests of justice to order a retrial.

She granted Mr Evans unconditional bail.

Ched Evans leaves court after the first day of his rape conviction appeal, heard at the Court of Appeal on 22nd March 2016. Video: Al Riddell

Ahead of today’s ruling, the prosecution had said it would seek an immediate retrial if Mr Evans won his appeal.

Lady Justice Hallett said Mr Evans must be retried on an allegation of rape and be re-arraigned on a fresh indictment within two months.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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