Ched Evans’ rape appeal to be heard at Court of Appeal this month

Ched Evans
Ched Evans

Former Sheffield United striker Ched Evans is to have his appeal against his rape conviction heard in court later this month.

His case has been listed to take place at the Court of Appeal in London on March 22.

In October last year, the Criminal Cases Review Commission referred his case to the Court of Appeal on the basis of new information not raised at his trial which the body said raised ‘a real possibility that the Court of Appeal may now quash the conviction’.

The Court of Appeal will now decide whether to uphold or overturn the conviction or order a retrial.

Evans was convicted in 2012 of rape and was released last year halfway through a five-year jail term.

He applied to the CCRC in July 2014 in a bid to have his conviction overturned, with his legal team making fresh submissions in January and April 2015.

A CCRC spokesman said in October that following an ‘in-depth’ 10 month investigation it had decided to refer the case to the Court of Appeal.

He said: “The referral is made on the basis of new information which was not raised at trial, and which in the view of the Commission, could have added support to Mr Evans’s defence at trial and therefore raises a real possibility that the Court of Appeal may now quash the conviction.

“It will now be for the Court to hear a fresh appeal to decide the case.”

A 49-page document setting out the reasons for the decision has been sent to Evans’ legal team, along with the Court of Appeal and the Crown Prosecution Service.

But the document has not been made public.

Following his release from prison, Evans has made several attempts to restart his professional career.

But potential moves to clubs including Sheffield United and Oldham have fallen through following public outcry.

A spokesman for Evans said in October: “Ched and those who closely support him, have always maintained that he was wrongly convicted and using new information that was not presented at his trial, we expect that in time his conviction will be quashed.

“The decision to refer Ched’s case is welcomed by all who know the true facts and Ched would like to thank all those who have supported him since his conviction in April 2012 and his subsequent release from prison in October 2014.”

The spokesman singled out Sheffield United fans for thanks for support.