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Footballer Rape Trial: Ched Evans Guilty And Clayton McDonald Found Not Guilty

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Footballer Clayton McDonald, left, has been cleared but Wales striker Ched Evans has been found guilty of rape
Footballer Clayton McDonald, left, has been cleared but Wales striker Ched Evans has been found guilty of rape

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.

Sheffield United and Wales striker Evans, and McDonald, both 23 were on trial for sexually attacking a 19-year-old at a North Wales hotel last May while their friends watched from a window.

McDonald was cleared on Friday by a jury at Caernafon Crown Court but Evans was found guilty of the offence.

Judge Merfyn Hughes QC sentenced Evans to five years in jail.

There was a brief period between the two verdicts being delivered due to the judge ordering for the public gallery to be cleared. When McDonald's not guilty verdict was read out by the jury foreman, members of the public erupted into screams and sobs, with his family shouting "Yes, yes" - something the judge had explicitly asked them not to do.

Ten minutes elapsed while the court was effectively shut down before Evans, who had started sobbing, was told his fate.

"I do not believe when you went out that you intended to rape a young woman," Judge Hughes told Evans.

"Your career is now over," he added.

Evans has been ordered to serve at least half of his sentence and the remainder is to be served on licence.

A statement from the Brabners Chaffe Street Law Firm, representing Evans said:

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.
Mr Evans firmly maintains his innocence in this matter and is being advised regarding an appeal of the decision.
No further comment will be made whilst the legal process is ongoing.

According to John Philpotts, prosecuting, both Clayton McDonald, from Cheshire, and Ched Evans, from Yorkshire, had admitted having sex with the complainant.

Evans told police he went to the Premier Inn with his brother Ryan Roberts and friend Jack Higgins after he received a text from McDonald saying he had "got a bird". Recordings were found on Higgins' mobile phone showed he had been filming or trying to film the incident.

Clayton Mcdonald insisted throughout the trial he did not force the woman into sex.

When 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.

The woman, who cannot be named due to legal reasons, told police she has "no memory" of the incident and the prosecution argued she was too drunk to consent to sexual intercourse.

A statement released by Sheffield United said: "Sheffield United Football Club has today learned of the verdict in the trial of Ched Evans at Caernarfon Crown Court. The Club recognises the seriousness of these events and as such wishes to respond in a responsible way when it has taken sufficient time to consider the matter fully."

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