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Evans jailed for five years after guilty of rape

Evans jailed for five years after guilty of rape

FOOTBALL: Wales and Sheffield United striker Ched Evans was jailed for five years on Friday after being found guilty of raping a woman who prosecutors said was "too drunk to consent."

By Agence France-Presse

Saturday 21 April 2012, 12:09PM

Evans, 23, had been accused of raping the 19-year-old woman during an incident at a North Wales hotel in May last year while two friends attempted to film the incident using a mobile phone.

His co-accused, Port Vale defender Clayton McDonald, was found not guilty of the same charge following a trial at Caernarfon Crown Court.

Evans' conviction came amid dramatic scenes in the court-room. Moments before the jury foreman returned its verdict, Evans had broken down in tears after his friend McDonald was acquitted.

However Evans then looked shocked as the jurors returned to give their guilty verdict against him before breaking down in tears once more.

Judge Merfyn Hughes told Evans he must have been aware his victim was drunk and in "no condition" to have sex.

"The complainant was 19 years of age and was extremely intoxicated," Hughes told Evans. "CCTV footage shows, in my view, the extent of her intoxication when she stumbled into your friend.

"As the jury have found, she was in no condition to have sexual intercourse. When you arrived at the hotel, you must have realised that."

"You have thrown away the successful career in which you were involved," he told Evans before the striker was led away in tears.

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Evans' lawyers issued a swift statement on Sheffield United's website saying they were mulling an appeal.

"Ched Evans is shocked and extremely disappointed with the decision reached today by the jury at Caernarfon Crown Court to convict him of the charge brought against him," the statement said.

"Mr Evans firmly maintains his innocence in this matter and is being advised regarding an appeal of the decision."

Evans, who has scored 35 goals for United this season and has 13 caps for Wales, had admitted having sex with the woman but told the court during the trial she had consented.

The trial heard that the incident occurred after McDonald met the woman on the street after visiting a takeaway in the early hours of May 30 last year.

He took her back to a hotel near Rhyl in North Wales, where they had sex and were later joined by Evans, who also had intercourse with the woman.

The jury was told that as the incident took place two friends of the men watched through a window and attempted to record the incident.

Prosecutors said the woman had no memory of the incident and believed her drink may have been spiked. She made a report to police after waking up in the hotel room naked and alone the following day.

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