Ched Evans may face retrial if rape conviction appeal succeeds

Ched Evans  arrives at the Court of Appeal in London with his partner Natasha Massey as a review into his conviction for rape continues. Picture: PA
Ched Evans arrives at the Court of Appeal in London with his partner Natasha Massey as a review into his conviction for rape continues. Picture: PA

A ruling on Ched Evans’ appeal against his rape conviction will be made next month - with the footballer potentially facing a retrial if he succeeds.

The former Sheffield United striker has taken part in a two-day hearing at the Court of Appeal in London in a bid to quash his conviction for raping a 19-year-old woman.

He now faces a wait for a number of weeks to find out to find out if he has won his legal challenge.

Judges hearing the case have reserved their judgement until April after hearing evidence on Tuesday and Wednesday.

At the conclusion of the hearing, Lady Justice Hallett announced that judgment on the appeal was being reserved, and would be delivered ‘as soon as possible’ in April.

Reporting restrictions remain in place on the nature of the new evidence discussed in court this week.

But it can be reported that the prosecution has indicated that it would seek a retrial of Evans if the footballer wins his appeal.

Evans, now 27, was convicted in April 2012.

He was found guilty at Caernarfon Crown Court of raping the woman at a hotel in Rhyl in North Wales.

He was released from prison in 2014 after serving half of his five-year sentence.

His conviction has been referred to the Court of Appeal for review by the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), which investigates possible miscarriages of justice.

The CCRC announced last October that new evidence had emerged in the case.

The referral to appeal judges followed a 10-month investigation by the commission.

An order made by the Court of Appeal judges on Tuesday currently prevents reporting of the details of the legal argument.

Judges Lady Justice Hallett, Mr Justice Flaux and Sir David Maddison have heard submissions from Kieran Vaughan QC, representing Evans, and from Eleanor Laws QC, for the Crown Prosecution Service.

Evans attended the hearing with girlfriend Natasha Massey and other members of his family, with Massey sat by his side in the packed courtroom as the case took place.

The former Sheffield United player has not been signed by a new club since his release from prison, with attempts to restart his career with a number of different clubs falling through following protests.