Ched Evans: The witch-hunt continues
Former Sheffield untied footballer Ched Evans is innocent. You might not like him. You might think him a scumbag, a low-life or hard done by. But one thing he is not is a rapist. A conviction for rape was quashed on appeal. A retrial found him not guilty. End of. What might have been a typical night out has damaged lives.
So how do you report on the Evan’s acquittal?
The Star goes for his apology and crying.
The Sun goes for his balls.
An innocent man – one guilty of committing no crime – is branded “GUILTY” on the front page.
Is this part of a ploy to woo the woman Evans was accused of raping? She is now able to sell her story. The Sun would surely buy it.
The paper follows an attack on him with another story about idiots on Twitter who rush to judgement.
‘A DIRTY LITTLE B****’ Ched Evans’ supporters troll his accuser as footballer is found not guilty of rape
THE teen waitress who accused Ched Evans of raping her in a hotel room has been viciously trolled on Twitter in the wake of his not guilty verdict. The woman – who cannot be named – was subjected to a barrage of online abuse after Evans was sensationally cleared of rape this afternoon.
Her life has been damaged. She has a new identity and has “moved far from her North Wales home”. Do not name her. It is a criminal offence to do so.
The Sun picks out a few quotes from bleeding hearts in the Twitter mob who want the woman to suffer more.
One wrote: “Hope the stupid s*** who is guilty for getting for getting Ched Evans sent to prison and ruining his life gets named and shamed for life ruined.” Another added: “Poor Ched Evans. The girl who accused him of rape should be locked up. She basically ended his career that piece of s**t.”
The case against Evans was approved by Crown Prosecution Service. Their task was to prove guilt beyond any reasonable doubt. They failed.
In the Daily Mirror, Alison Phillips writes: “What woman in her right mind would go to the police this morning if she were raped last night after too much to drink? I wouldn’t.”
Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS Wales Ed Beltrami says:
“We respect the decision of the jury today. This case hinged on the issue of sexual consent – that someone consents if they agree by choice and have the freedom and capacity to make that choice. Being drunk does not mean a person relinquishes their right to consent, that they are to blame for being attacked or that they were ‘fair game’.”
The trial judge words should be noted. Ms Justice Nicola Davies instructed the jury:
“Your decision must be made calmly, objectively and without emotion. 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.”
She directed the jurors to consider three questions:
Are you sure that when the defendant intentionally penetrated the vagina of the complainant she did not consent to it? If you are sure that she did not consent, go to question two. If you conclude that she did consent or may have consented your verdict is NOT GUILTY.
Are you sure that the defendant did NOT genuinely believe that the complainant consented? If you are sure that the defendant did not believe the complainant was consenting, your verdict is GUILTY.
If you conclude the defendant did believe or may have believed that the complainant was consenting go to question three.
Are you sure that the defendant’s belief in the complainant’s consent was unreasonable? If you are sure it was not a reasonably held belief then your verdict is GUILTY. If you conclude that it was or may have been a reasonably held belief then your verdict is NOT GUILTY.
Matt Dickinson nots in the Times: “Just because it isn’t rape, doesn’t mean it isn’t misogynistic and nasty.”
In the Telegraph, we read: “‘Team Ched’ show just how sick football culture in Britain is.”
The established facts of what happened at the Premier Inn near Rhyl on the night of May 30, 2011, are sordid enough: Evans lied, as he admitted in court, to obtain the key that gained access to the bedroom, did not speak to the young woman before, during or after sex, then left the hotel by a fire exit…
As for the impression of contrition, forget it. His statement on Friday that he “wholeheartedly apologised to anyone who might have been affected by the events of the night in question” does not square with the fact that he has stood by while a website has published horrendous character assassinations of the woman concerned. Her life, to a greater extent even than his, has been ruined. If a man such as Evans is now to be made a martyr, then the culture of football in Britain truly is sicker than we thought.
The Indy has more:
Robert Brown, a partner at Corkerbinning, told The Independent: “In a jury trial, as in this case, it is for the prosecution to persuade the jury beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty.
“The verdict means that a particular jury was not satisfied beyond reasonable doubt of [Mr Evan’s] guilt. It is not the same as saying the woman has lied.
“Saying she should be prosecuted for perverting the course of justice is a complete non sequitur. The Crown Prosecution Service could prosecute her if there’s evidence she was deliberately lying, but there is no evidence of that.
“The fact that the jury don’t give any motive for their decision is one of the reasons why you cannot say this woman should be prosecuted. “Because it may be that the evidence from the woman was not the deciding factor in the case.”
Do you believe in the rule of law? Do you believe a person is innocent until proven otherwise? If you do, you can read about Ched Evans and move on. If not, you can continue to use an ugly story to support your own pet theories, businesses, causes and prejudices. You can join in the witch-hunt.