Sheffield United Striker Ched Evans Found Guilty Of Rape, Jailed For Five Years

Chris Wright

20th, April 2012

34 Comments

By Chris Wright

Sheffield United’s top scorer and League One’s Player of the Month in March, Welsh striker Ched Evans, has been sentenced to five years in jail this afternoon after being found guilty of rape at Caernarfon Crown Court in Wales.

23-year old Evans was on trial along with Port Vale defender Clayton McDonald, who were both accused of raping a 19-year old girl at the Premier Inn near Rhyl, Denbighshire. McDonald was acquitted.

Both men admitted having sex with the woman on 30th May of last year after a night out drinking in Rhyl, but claimed it was consensual. The girl (now aged 20) claims that she woke up ‘confused and dazed’ in the hotel the following morning, not able to remember how she got there and fearing that her drinks had been spiked the previous night.

This from the BBC:

“The court heard that McDonald met the woman and took her back to the hotel room, sending a text to Evans stating he had ‘got a bird’.

“During Evans’ evidence, he told the jury he had gone to the hotel, let himself into McDonald’s room and watched his friend and the woman having sex.

“It was claimed McDonald asked if his friend could ‘get involved’, to which the woman said yes.

“The prosecution claimed that while the attack happened, Jack Higgins, an ‘associate’ of the footballers, and Ryan Roberts, Mr Evans’ brother, watched through a window.

“The court heard the defendants had known each other since they were 10 years old and shared digs when they played for Manchester City’s youth academy.”

Immediate reaction: Why are footballer’s so obviously keen to watch each other fornicate?

Anyway, without knowing the full *ahem* ins and outs of the case it’s hard to pass any kind of judgement on the actions, allegations and testaments of either party involved – though the bottom line is that two young lives have been disrupted immeasurably.

On the one hand, a young lady has apparently been subjected to the most harrowing ordeal imaginable – which is, of course, unforgivably abhorrent on Evans’ part if true. On the other, I’ve heard stories about shag-happy footballers being targeted by vicious honeytraps that would make your head spin.

I’m not saying that’s necessarily the case in this instance, far from it – who be your’s truly to question the ruling of the Crown Court? – but it’s becoming increasingly hard to bypass the lingering doubt when rape charges continue to occur so disproportionately frequently in football.

Please forgive my cynicism. I’m fully aware it’s not appropriate and that I shouldn’t have these doubts. Lord knows women face a hard enough struggle as it is in attempting to bring their rapists to justice.

This is going to sound oblique, vile and perverse considering the crime he’s just been committed of – but, on behalf of Ched Evans, I just hope beyond hope that the aforementioned justice in question has actually been carried out here.

And before anyone goes accusing me of empathising with a rapist, have another read.

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34 Comments

  1. mark says:

    Well said Mark

  2. mark says:

    … Chris, even.

  3. Al says:

    I tend to agree with you Chris and it’s very hard to form an opinion when we don’t know the full facts but we are in a situation where some girls have cried wolf and as a result anytime a case like this comes up there will always be lingering doubts about a guilty verdict.

  4. SS says:

    @Chris: Ched Evans is 23 years old not 29!!!

  5. Panda says:

    Is Ched Evans 29 or 23?

  6. Sam says:

    Apologies for pedantry, but there’s no way Ched Evans can be 29. I remember him being a promising teenager on Football Manager a few years ago. If this is true, I really am getting old…

  7. Pkhakheria says:

    I get what you’re saying , on one side the girl maybe had a bit much to drink, and no friends or anyone really monitoring her . on another side you have two young footballers simply not thinking, hopefully the 5 years can help him sort it out , and maybe he can come back to professional level playing. Hopefully the girl can move past it

  8. MWatts91 says:

    I reckon that Birmingham City will launch a bid for him so he can play upfront with Marlon King.

  9. Archbishop Betty Snagcock says:

    here’s my two cents worth

    1.he was signed for sheff utd for 3 mil, he must’ve been on at least 10k per week – so he’s pretty darn wealthy
    2.he’s a welsh internation footballer
    3. all the girl said was that she doesn’t remember anything and thinks her drink was spiked
    4. there is no evidence (as far as im aware) of her drink being spiked

    in conclusion, there isn’t much evidence as she would’ve already would’ve had sex with evans’ mate and theres not much reason to think that he would need to rape

    now obviously i do not know evans so they are just judgements but none of the less they are reasons for reasonable doubt, and as that’s what a guilty verdict has to be, guilty beyond all reasonable doubt, the only conclusion i have is this

    ched evans had a shit attorney

  10. Coolie says:

    Couldnt agree more, I had said the same myself!

  11. Andy says:

    5 years is a long time man. Just saying.

  12. Professor Erno Breastpinchd says:

    Agree wholeheartedly with the article chris.
    For what its worth, as a Wednesday fan and resident of Sheffield, I have a number of SUFC “facebook friends” and many of their reactions to the case is almost as sickening as the alleged crime.
    We can moan and groan about the conduct of footballers all day long, rightly so most of the time. But as fans we have a duty to have a level of objectivity and apply the same moral compas across the board without making allowances based on the colour of shirt someone wears. The number of people on facebook accusing her of lying, being a “ho” and “blatantly asking for it” is frightening.

  13. clay says:

    I think it’s a bloody disgrace – if ever there was a political verdict this is it. How many men have sex with a ‘bird’ who is drunk?

    I’ve no sympathy with the woman in question whatsoever.

  14. judge says:

    he actually earns enough that, if needs must and all else fails, he can afford to pay for sex. as many other footballers do. and yet he decides no, THIS is the way to get laid. silly, silly boy/poor, poor girl.

  15. Anonymous says:

    absolutely excellent article.

  16. Anabelle says:

    I’m not sure how the law works in England.

    1) Is he planning to return to playing football, after completing sentence?
    2) Can he leave earlier for good behavior?
    3) Will he be classified as a sex offender, meaning cannot be around schools, parks, children, etc. If yes, then his career in football is over.

  17. Mr. Sparkle says:

    The man gets five years?

    Well, I’m sure he’ll be someone’s fucking bitch in prison. Five years might seem short but his sphincter will probably hang out by the time he gets out. Fucking deserves it, that piece of shit.

  18. Matthew says:

    Errr, archbishop Betty, so wealthy people don’t commit crimes?? I don’t get your point. Cos he’s wealthy why would he rape…. How about cos he’s got no common sense like quite a few young footballers today.

    I’m hoping it wasn’t premeditated but he seems to have gone too far in a situation and broken the law. Other player not guilty as maybe he met her first, had sex and then invited his mate over to have some fun. Sure, not guilty of rape but an accomplice. Frankly I’m shocked abt some perceptions here that our poor little footballers are unfairly targetted… Police and/or judges tend to see thru bullshit.

  19. sloth says:

    Solid article Chris. It’s a slippery slope when cynicism borderlines on condoning rape, but you’ve hit the nail on the head here. Hopefully the judge got it right, and if not hopefully an appeal process can sort it out.

  20. Matt says:

    Just to add my two cents… remember in all courts in the UK it’s innocent until proven guilty. There has to be a sufficient degree of evidence for it to have been true, it’s not as if she’s just made up the whole story and judge has gone right 5 years.

    The fact that alcohol was included is a defining factor as it’s known as an aggravating factor. If he’d just had sex with her and she wasn’t drunk he might have got like a community service charge or suspended sentence. Fact she was smashed and he took advantage of her is what caused it.

    Obviously, he has the right to appeal and if that fails then you know for certain he done it. 5 Years is such a long time. Like going year 7-year 11 all over again. Although this time he’ll be getting schooled in the art of picking up the soap

  21. Jarren says:

    Yeah it’s a tricky one to call, in the current climate.

    On the one hand I think rapists should get a minimum of 10 years jail and a big fucking tattoo on their chest saying RAPIST, but there’s the other side when innocent men are accused.

    Happened with Northern Ireland’s Keith Gillespie, as well as RvP.

    Women who falsify rape claims are a sickening disgrace, and seriously belittle the suffering of the countless women who actually suffer rape and never report it.

  22. usrick says:

    Since he was sentenced, it appears the trial judge felt the conviction was justified by the evidence. Whether it will stand on appeal remains to be seen. But if the trial judge felt the conviction was warranted, it seems likely the information from the BBC and other sources on which the article above is based are incorrect, or at least incomplete.

  23. Alestorm says:

    Would Ashley Cole be imprisoned as well?
    Just think of what his poor cellphone had to endure…

  24. Archbishop Betty Snagcock says:

    @Matthew my point is he was never going to struggle to get girls, of course wealthy people commit crimes, but a half-decent attorney would ask the girl “what makes you so special” given that when he goes out he probably has to fight them off. certainly cause for reasonable doubt

  25. Jarren says:

    @Archbishop Betty Snagcock: You forget that maybe he doesn’t like it when girls consent.

    You don’t have to be poor or ugly to be an evil bastard.

  26. Chloe Walker says:

    Chris it is a slippery subject, and while i normally respect the manner in which you deal with difficult subjects but I have read this in utter shock.

    One in three women in the UK have been subject to an sexual assaulted. Over those sexual assaults only 15 percent are reported to the police and thh convintion rate for that statustic is fewer than six percent. SIX.

    I am not pulling those statitics out of my arse check them out for yourself

    http://www.rapecrisis.org.uk/mythsampfacts2.php

    And yet here we have a case where the man has been charged, found guilty and convicted and yet you somehow feel, because the man was a footballer somehow your opinion on whether you feel it was a just conviction is worth, what, an article on your massively popular sports blog, SPORTS BLOG. So you can use this as a forum to discuss whether or not if a girl is drunk and then claims she was raped by a footballer, nevermind the COURT CASE that this claim had to withstand – is likely to be guilty in your eyes. Because what? Well because apparantly lots of gold-digging women hang around men in football.

    I am relieved, RELIEVED that the comments that follow below are largely not following through the rape-apologist door that you, whether meaning to or not, are opening.

    The sheer fact is, frankly, why the hell are you even writing about this? You asked us to re-read your article and I did. You yourself said.

    “who be your’s truly to question the ruling of the Crown Court?”

    The answer – absolutely not you. What made you think that being a football writer who writes about the profession to which the convicted man belonged made you feel that your impression and ‘lingering doubts’ for some reason merit publication?

    What is more concerning is the fact that you have made it entirely clear whether or not you doubts about this case specifically or for any woman who accuses a footballer of rape. I can’t decide which one is worse. Either you have looked at the evidence that you can find published (you, I am assuming, did not attend the court hearing), or you are now assuming that with the sheer hordes of those malicious, gold-digging women who surround foobtallers and accuse them of rape, by the law of averages this one must be lying.

    Why, why write this article in the first place. If you want to help with injustice when it comes to rape and manner in which the legal system deals with it in this country I would suggest starting with having a think about the abysmally low reporting, and convinction rate in this country. Not with another think piece which, whether you meant it to or not came down to ‘girl claims she’s raped by footballer. Golddigging women target footballer. girl lying’ Because that, whether you riddle it with disclaimers or not, is rapist apologia.

  27. Mr. Sparkle says:

    I’m with you Chloe Walker.

    Just think if this was your daughter, or mother or wife that this despicable crime had occurred to. Would you question the sentencing and whether some piece of shit got justice?

  28. Mr. Sparkle says:

    Stick to football and comedy pies, leave the politics out of this.

  29. Joe says:

    I feel sorry for the guy. He clearly is the victim of a honey trap slut. There clearly was no evidence of rape. She was drunk – so what ? He probably was too. She alleged she can’t remember anything. So what ? That’s her fault for drinking too much. I bet any money she will sell her “story” to the papers / magazines for money and also try to sue him in civil courts for lots of money.
    This nonsense should have been ignored by the police, never mind gone to court. The judge was probably a man hating feminist.
    Luckily he will easily win his appeal as its just a daft decision.

    Bottom line is 2 drunk men and 1 drunk and likely poor/unemployed woman had sex. That’s all.

  30. Joe says:

    Free Ched Evans. Innocent until proven guilty

  31. Chloe Walker says:

    @ Joe

    He was proven guilty you halfwit. Thats what a court case does.

  32. Mark says:

    I do believe it’s innocent until found guilty….i do believe he was found guilty….by a jury of 12! Case closed! He ain’t getting out in a long long time, so cry all you want, he’s not getting out.

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