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Clayton McDonald, On Trial For Allegedly Raping Girl, Claims He Didn't Force Her Into Sex

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McDonald, at Caernarfon Crown Court this morning
McDonald, at Caernarfon Crown Court this morning

UPDATE: Wales footballer Ched Evans who was accused of raping a woman "too drunk to consent" to sex has been found guilty while Port Vale defender Clayton McDonald has been cleared of the same charge.

One of two footballers accused of raping a woman at a hotel told a jury today that he never forced her to have sex.

Port Vale defender Clayton McDonald, 23, and Wales and Sheffield United striker Ched Evans, also 23, deny the alleged attack on the 19-year-old complainant at a North Wales hotel in May last year.

The woman told police she has no memory of the incident and the prosecution says she was too drunk to consent to sexual intercourse.

Giving evidence at Caernarfon Crown Court, McDonald, of Marys Gate, Crewe, Cheshire, said he met the complainant in the street following a night out with childhood friend Evans, of Ashtree Gardens, Millhouse Green, Penistone, South Yorkshire.

He said: "I got to a corner and turned around and saw a girl walk up to me.

"I said 'Hiya, where are you going?' and she said 'Where are you going?'

"I said I was going to my hotel and she said 'I'm coming with you'."

Asked by Lloyd Morgan, defending, how the complainant appeared, the footballer said she was "walking fine", holding a pizza box, and he was able to understand what she was saying.

During the drive to the hotel, McDonald said he asked her name, where her friends were and if she had had a good night, and she replied to all his questions.

He also said he sent a text message to Evans saying he had "met a girl".

"I opened the door to room 14 and she walked in and put the pizza box on the side and sat on the bed," she said.

"I sat next to her and that's when she grabbed me."

Asked by Mr Morgan if he had forced her to do anything, the defendant replied "No".

"Was anything said between you?" the barrister asked.

McDonald replied: "No. I was in shock that she grabbed me, to be fair."

After about 10 minutes he noticed something at the window of the ground-floor room so got up to close the curtains.

The jury was earlier told that, as the incident took place, Jack Higgins, an "associate" of the footballers, and Ryan Roberts, Evans's brother, had watched through a window.

Video recordings found on Mr Higgins' phone showed he had been filming or trying to film the incident.

McDonald told the jury he noticed "two lads" at the window and it was Mr Higgins and Mr Roberts.

He added: "So I went to close the curtains and then I noticed that Ched had come into the room."

He said the woman also saw Evans, who then asked to "join in".

"I asked her 'Can he join in?' and she said 'Yes'," he said.

McDonald said he watched Evans and the woman "for a little bit" and described her as "generally enjoying herself".

He then said he went to the bathroom and decided to leave.

Asked again by Mr Morgan if he had forced the complainant to have sex, McDonald replied: "No."

McDonald, wearing a blue suit, white shirt and grey tie, told the jury he met Evans when they were aged about 10 and part of the Manchester City youth academy.

He said by May last year he had been released by Walsall following a shoulder injury and he had undergone an operation on it several weeks before the incident.

The injury made some movements, such as removing his T-shirt, difficult, he added.

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