Ched Evans wins appeal against rape conviction

Ched Evans.
Ched Evans.

Former Sheffield United and Welsh international footballer Ched Evans has won an appeal against his conviction for raping a woman but must face a fresh trial.

The striker, 27, was convicted and jailed for five years in May 2012 after being found guilty at Caernarfon Crown Court of raping the woman, who was 19, at a hotel in Rhyl, North Wales.

He was released on licence in October 2014 having served half his sentence, but his attempts to return to football were met by criticism from politicians, well­known football fans and campaign groups, including his former club Sheffield United, where many of the club’s sponsors threatened to withdraw their support.

His conviction was referred to the court of appeal for review by the Criminal Cases Review Commission, which investigates possible miscarriages of justice.

Evans was present this morning in the packed London courtroom with girlfriend Natasha Massey by his side to hear the result of his conviction challenge.

Lady Justice Hallett, announcing the court’s decision, said the judges had heard “fresh evidence” during the appeal hearing on March 22 and 23.

She said: “In summary, we have concluded that we must allow the appeal and that it is in the interests of justice to order a retrial.

“The appellant will be retried on the allegation of rape.”