Ched Evans: Government and shadow ministers speak out

Justice Minister Chris Grayling
Justice Minister Chris Grayling

A GOVERNMENT minister says there are some jobs that convicted criminals cannot return to their jobs.

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling would not be drawn during questioning on the possibility of Ched Evans being signed by Hartlepool United.

But he said it was “desirable” for ex-offenders to return to employment but there were some jobs that people could not go back to.

As a result of his ministerial responsibilities, he insisted he would not comment directly on Evans’ case.

But he is reported as saying: “Given the fact that I am responsible for the probation system he is part of, I’m not going to comment on the individual case.

“What I would say is that where an offender leaves prison, clearly it is desirable that we get them back into employment, that we get them back into normal life so they don’t reoffend.

“There are some categories of profession where actually it is not possible to return to your previous job - working with children for example.

“So, therefore, this debate will always happen when somebody has a high-profile and controversial job.”

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He added: “It is always a balance between making sure we rehabilitate offenders properly, we get them back into the community doing a constructive job not reoffending, but also accepting there are some roles in life that people who have offended can’t return to.”

Shadow justice secretary Sadiq Khan said clubs should think “very seriously” about their responsibilities before signing a rapist who had not admitted his guilt.

He is reported as saying: “There are some professions where you are a role model to others, lots of young boys and girls have posters of successful footballers on their bedroom walls.

“You have got to remember that in this case Mr Evans still claims he was not guilty of the offence, he is appealing ... it’s right and proper for football clubs to very seriously consider the responsibility they have to society in relation to taking on a convicted rapist who still denies his guilt in that job.”

He added: “If somebody had been found guilty of an offence and said that they learnt their lesson, they were taking action to address their offending behaviour and they were going to take steps to try to play a positive role to the victims of rape and other things, you could understand that line of argument.

“I’m afraid in this particular case, here is a man who was found guilty after a trial, he still claims he was innocent and wants to go back to being a high-profile footballer.

“I think football clubs need to think very seriously about the responsibilities they have to wider society.”