Ched Evans: not guilty of hotel rape
The verdict is in and Ched Evans, 27, is innocent. The former Sheffield United striker did not rape a woman at Premier Inn in Rhuddlan, Denbighshire, on 30 May 2011.
In 2012, Evans was found guilty of rape at Caernarfon Crown Court. In April 2015 that conviction was erased.
A statement is read aloud:
“In the early hours of 30 May 2011, an incident occurred in north Wales that was to change my life and the lives of others forever. That incident did not involve the commission of a criminal offence and today I am overwhelmed with relief that the jury agreed. I would like to thank my legal team… for their tireless efforts upon my behalf.
“Thanks go, too, to my friends and family; most notably my fiancee, Natasha, who chose, perhaps incredibly, to support me in my darkest hour. Whilst my innocence has now been established, I wish to make it clear that I wholeheartedly apologise to anyone who might have been affected by the events of the night in question.”
And the other party – the woman? Do not name her. She has lifelong anonymity. Supt Jo Williams from North Wales Police warns: “People need to be aware that they could find themselves being arrested and prosecuted. This was done previously, people were prosecuted and heavily fined.”