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Ched Evans in his playing days..

Ched Evans appeal against rape conviction leads to retrial

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Ched Evans has won the right to a retrial after an appeal against his rape conviction was considered by judges. 

Three appeal court judges reserved judgement after a two-day hearing last month on issues of newly submitted evidence. A retrial was immediately ordered.

The Criminal Cases Review Commission considered Evans' appeal and their decision to uphold it goes with the grain – 70% of appeals have been successful when considered by the CCRC.

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Evans had originally been handed a five-year sentence in May 2012 for the rape of a 19-year-old woman in Rhyl, Wales.

He served just two years of that time in prison and was released on license in 2014 with a view to resuming his football career.

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Verdict quashed

Announcing the decision, Lady Justice Hallett said the judges heard "fresh evidence" during the appeal hearing on 22 and 23 March.

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 court declared: "The appellant will be retried on the allegation of rape."

Return to football

Several clubs, including his former club Sheffield United and Oldham Athletic, attempted to reintroduce him to professional football, but incredible public pressure forced them both to pull plugs on the deal.

Evans has always maintained his innocence throughout the investigation and claims the victim consented to sex with both him and his friend. Former footballer Clayton McDonald was cleared of any wrongdoing at the same trial. 

Judges had the option to quash his original conviction, order a re-trial or uphold the original verdict. Before the announcement, legal experts believed a retrial was most likely.

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Victim's identity

The victim was forced to change her identity when it was revealed on Twitter and retweeted over 6,000 times. It led to 11 people being prosecuted for revealing the identity of a victim in a sexual crime.

Such victims are automatically given lifetime anonymity and breaching such a right is a serious offence. Court law also prevents media from reporting on the new evidence that was considered. 

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Topics:
Ched Evans
England Football
Football
Championship
Premier League
League One
Sheffield United

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