Ched Evans’ rape conviction: Timeline of events

Ched Evans in 2009
Ched Evans in 2009
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The Criminal Cases Review Commission has referred the rape conviction of footballer Ched Evans to the Court of Appeal. Here is a timeline of events in the Ched Evans case and its fallout:

2011

Sheffield United and Wales striker Ched Evans arrives at Caernafon Crown Court  in 2012

Sheffield United and Wales striker Ched Evans arrives at Caernafon Crown Court in 2012

* May 30 - Evans is arrested on suspicion of sexual assault at a Premier Inn near Rhyl, north Wales.

* July 26 - Evans and fellow footballer Clayton McDonald are charged with rape.

2012

* April 20 - Evans is jailed for five years for rape and McDonald is acquitted.

* May - Evans is released by Sheffield United at the end of the season.

* November 6 - Evans loses his appeal after his case is rejected by three judges at the Court of Appeal in London.

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Ched Evans has rape conviction referred to Court of Appeal

2014

* April 18 - An online petition is launched urging United not to re-sign Evans, attracting more than 165,000 signatures.

* October 17 - Evans is released from prison after serving half his sentence and a statement is released on his website stating he will continue to fight to clear his name.

* October 22 - Evans releases a statement stating his desire to return to football.

* November 11 - Sheffield United confirm Evans will return to train with the club with immediate effect following a request from the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA). Television presenter Charlie Webster announces that she has stood down as a patron of the club.

* November 12 - Sheffield Central MP Paul Blomfield urges United to change their decision, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg says the club must ‘’think really long and hard’’ before deciding whether to allow Evans to play for them again.

* November 13 - Olympic heptathlon champion and Blades fan Jessica Ennis-Hill issues a statement announcing that she has told United she would want her name removed from the Bramall Lane stand should Evans be offered a contract to play for the club.

* November 14 - Police begin an investigation into rape threat tweets directed at Ennis-Hill after her statement over Evans.

* November 20 - United announce they have retracted the offer for Evans to train with the club.

* December 1 - Oldham deny offering Evans the chance to train with them following reports linking him to the League One outfit.

* December 20 - Hartlepool manager Ronnie Moore announces he would like to sign Evans.

* December 22 - Hartlepool release a statement saying they would not be signing Evans.

2015

* January 3 - After apparently being offered a route back into football by Maltese side Hibernians, the Ministry of Justice steps in to prevent Evans resuming his football career overseas, stating that, as a convicted sex offender on licence, Evans is effectively barred from working abroad.

* January 4 - It is revealed Evans has been in fresh talks with Oldham about joining the League One club, sparking new protests.

* January 7 - Oldham sponsor Verlin Rainwater Solutions announces it is cutting ties with the club immediately, while another, ZenOffice, warns it will do so if the signing goes ahead. Oldham owner Simon Corney tells the Jewish Chronicle there is an ‘’80 per cent’’ chance of the club signing Evans. Shadow sports minister Clive Efford writes to Football Association chairman Greg Dyke to urge the FA to block the deal.

* January 8 - Evans’ proposed signing falls through due to the uproar surrounding it.

* January 8 - Evans issues ‘’wholehearted apology’’ via the PFA ‘’for the effects that night in Rhyl has had on many people, not least the woman concerned’’ but maintains his innocence over his conviction for rape.

* October 5 - Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) announces it has referred Evans’ rape conviction to the Court of Appeal on basis of new information not raised at trial. The CCRC says there is ‘’a real possibility’’ that the conviction will be quashed.