UK

Nigel Evans Appears In Court Over Sex Offence Allegations

18/09/2013 11:26 BST | Updated 18/09/2013 11:32 BST

The former deputy speaker of the House of Commons, Nigel Evans, has made his first appearance in court after being accused of committing sex offences against seven men.

Evans, 55, resigned as deputy speaker of the House of Commons after being charged earlier this month with two counts of indecent assault, five of sexual assault and one of rape.

nigel evans

Former House of Commons deputy speaker Nigel Evans arriving at Preston magistrates' court today

Sitting at Preston Magistrates' Court today, District Judge Jane Goodwin adjourned the case until October 4 when Evans will appear for a preliminary hearing at Preston Crown Court.

Evans spoke only to confirm his name, address and that he understands the charges during a ten minute hearing at Preston Magistrates' Court.

He was granted bail on condition he does not approach directly or indirectly named witnesses.

Asked if he wished to comment on the case as he left court, he replied: "I'm going back to Westminster to work now, thank you."

Earlier this month, Evans defiantly protested his innocence in the face of the sex abuse charges in an emotional speech to the House of Commons.

He claimed that facing the allegations was as hard as dealing with the deaths of his mother and brother in the past few years.

Evans was cheered by MPs as he pledged to "see this through to the end".

The politician has denied any wrongdoing since his first arrest in May.

The indecent assaults are alleged to have been committed between January 1 2002 and January 1 2004; the sexual assaults between January 1 2009 and April 1 2013, and the rape between March 29 and April 1 2013.

He dismissed the original claims against him in May as “completely false”, and said they had been made by two people he had “regarded as friends”.

In June, after his second arrest, he said: “I continue to refute all allegations.”