Ched Evans has been found not guilty of rape following a retrial. Footballer Ched Evans has been found not guilty of rape following a two week retrial.
The Wales international and Chesterfield striker, who was accused, and previously convicted, of raping a teenager in 2011, wept and hugged his partner Natasha Massey following the verdict at Cardiff Crown Court.
Evans, 27, had admitted to having sex with the teenager in a hotel in Rhyl, north Wales, and cheating on his girlfriend in the process, but insisted it had been consensual. He had maintained his innocence from the outset – saying the woman had agreed to let him to ‘join in’ a 4am romp with a fellow footballer.
|Football player Ched Evans arrives at Cardiff Crown Court with his fiancee Natasha Massey where he is standing trial for rape (Picture: Getty)|
During his retrial, Evans told Cardiff Crown Court the woman was no drunker than him or Mr McDonald. High Court Judge Mrs Justice Nicola Davies told the jury of seven men and five women that the issue of consent was central to the case.
She said Evans should be found guilty if he did not reasonably believe the complainant, who cannot be named, was consenting. However, she told the jury that drunken consent was still consent – and if the jury believe that was the case than Evans is not guilty. ‘Your decision must be made calmly, objectively and without emotion,’ she said.
|An artist’s impression of Ched Evans in court (Picture: Coleman/MB Media)|
‘You are not here to judge the morals of any person in this case and this includes the complainant and the defendant. ‘You are to try this case on the evidence you hear in this court in this trial and nothing else.’
Jurors have been told that McDonald was acquitted of raping the woman during a trial at Caernarfon Crown Court in 2012. Evans was convicted of the charge at that trial. His conviction was later quashed by the Court of Appeal.
His retrial began at Cardiff Crown Court on October 4.
TIMELINE OF THE FOOTBALLER'S RAPE CASE
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