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Footballer rape trial: Ched Evans jailed five years, Clayton McDonald cleared

Category: England

Published: 20th Apr 2012 15:51:46

Footballer Ched Evans has been jailed for five years for raping a 19-year-old woman, while another player, Clayton McDonald, has been cleared.

Wales and Sheffield United striker Evans, 23, was convicted by a jury at Caernarfon Crown Court.

Both he and Port Vale defender Mr McDonald, also 23, had denied rape at a Premier Inn near Rhyl, Denbighshire.

The men admitted having sex with the woman on 30 May 2011, but said it was consensual.

Court proceedings were disrupted after Mr McDonald was acquitted, prompting a brief adjournment.

Mr McDonald, of Crewe, Cheshire, looked elated when his not guilty verdict was delivered, and family and friends shouted: "Yes, yes".

One man left the public gallery and could be heard screaming outside the court.

Judge Merfyn Hughes QC rose and the public gallery was cleared.

Mr McDonald remained in the dock while Evans, 23, of Penistone, South Yorkshire, put his head in his hands and cried.

After the judge returned to court, the guilty verdict was delivered against Evans.

During the trial, the jury saw video interviews in which the woman, now 20, said she could not remember what happened and feared her drinks were spiked.

She could not remember travelling to the hotel, but woke up in a double bed.

"My clothes were scattered around on the floor," she said.

"I just didn't know how I got there, if I had gone there with anyone. I was confused and dazed."

The court heard that Evans, whose mother lives in Rhyl, had invited Mr McDonald and others for a bank holiday night out in the seaside town on 29 May.

Because there was not enough space at Evans' mother's house, he booked Mr McDonald in to the hotel.

The court heard that Mr 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 in to Mr McDonald's room and watched his friend and the woman having sex.

It was claimed Mr 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, Evans' brother, watched through a window.

The court heard the defendants had known each other since they were aged 10 and shared accommodation when they played for Manchester City's youth academy.

Evans, a striker, has scored 35 goals for Championship club Sheffield United this season and has 13 caps for Wales.

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BBC News, 2012. Footballer rape trial: Ched Evans jailed five years, Clayton McDonald cleared [Online] (Updated 20th Apr 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1423631/Footballer-rape-trial-Ched-Evans-jailed-five-years-Clayton-McDonald-cleared [Accessed 19th Apr 2014]

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