Northumbria police boss says Ched Evans case shows courts have 'gone back 30 years'

A former solicitor general has expressed concern about some of the evidence heard in the Ched Evans rape trial.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 15th October 2016, 10:48 am
Updated Tuesday, 25th October 2016, 4:38 pm
Ched Evans outside of court after the jury found him not guilty of rape.
Ched Evans outside of court after the jury found him not guilty of rape.

The Wales international footballer was acquitted of rape on Friday following a five-year battle to clear his name.

In a rare move, the jury at Cardiff Crown Court heard evidence from two men who had sex with the complainant around the time of the rape allegation.

According to BBC News, Vera Baird, police and crime commissioner for Northumbria and former solicitor general, told Radio 4's Today programme: "The only difference between a clear conviction of Mr Evans in 2012 and the absolute refusal of him having any leave to appeal at that time, and his acquittal now, is that he has called some men to throw discredit on [the woman's] sexual reputation.

"That, I think, is pouring prejudice, which is exactly what used to happen before the law in 1999 stopped the admission of previous sexual history in order to show consent.

"We've gone back, I'm afraid, probably about 30 years."

The striker, 27, was originally convicted of raping a 19-year-old woman in a Premier Inn near Rhyl, north Wales, in May 2011.

He served half of a five-year prison sentence before being released but there was a public outcry when he attempted to return to professional football.

Mr Evans, who was linked with a move to Hartlepool United, joined League One club Chesterfield FC after the Court of Appeal quashed his conviction and ordered a retrial earlier this year.

His family had employed private investigators to gather new evidence, with a £50,000 reward offered for information to help his case.

The jury of seven women and five men took less than three hours to find Mr Evans not guilty of the charge following the eight-day trial.