Footballer's rape conviction quashed; retrial ordered in sexual offence case
The Court of Appeal yesterday quashed Ched Evans’s rape conviction, but ruled that he will face a retrial.
The 27 year old Welsh footballer was jailed in 2012 after having being found guilty of raping a 19 year old woman at a Premier Inn near Rhyl, Denbighshire in May 2011.
Mr Evans, who has always maintained his innocence, was released from prison in October 2014 after serving half of his five year jail term.
His conviction was referred to the Court of Appeal by the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), which investigates possible miscarriages of justice, following a 10-month investigation.
The Court of Appeal’s decision comes after two days of submissions last month, during which Lady Justice Hallet, Mr Justice Flaux and Sir David Maddison heard ‘fresh evidence’ from Kieran Vaughan QC, acting for Mr Evans, and Eleanor Laws QC, for the Crown.
Lady Justice Hallett, delivering the ruling, said, ‘In summary, we have concluded that we must allow the appeal and that it is in the interests of justice to order a retrial’.
Speaking outside the Royal Courts of Justice, Mr Evans’s 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".
An Order made at the beginning of the appeal prevents the press from reporting any details of the legal argument relating to new evidence in the case to avoid prejudicing the retrial.
The date of the retrial is yet to be determined.
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