Five more charged over Ex-Sheffield United striker’s rape case

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FIVE more people have been charged with disclosing the identity of a woman raped by former Sheffield United footballer Ched Evans - taking the total accused to nine.

The Crown Prosecution Service has revealed that three men from Sheffield are among those charged.

Paul Devine, aged 26; Daniel Cardwell, 25 and Shaun Littler, 22, have been bailed and are due to appear at Prestatyn Magistrates’ Court on the 5th November.

They were charged on the same day as Hollie Price, 25, from Prestatyn and Gemma Thomas, 18, from Rhyl.

Earlier this week Benjamin Davies, 27, from Rhyl; Michael Ashton, 21, from Llanddulas; Dominic Green, 23, from Rhyl and Alexandra Hewitt, 24, from Broughton, were also charged.

They are all accused of publishing material on social networking sites that was likely to result in members of the public identifying the rape victim, who is entitled to lifelong anonymity.

Jim Brisbane, chief crown prosecutor for CPS Cymru-Wales, said: “Further evidential reviews have led us to conclude that there is sufficient evidence to charge a further five people with the offence of publishing a matter likely to lead members of the public to identify the complainant in a rape case, contrary to the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act, 1992.

“As with the previous charges in this matter, the Attorney General has granted consent to these prosecutions.

“All five have been charged by North Wales Police and bailed to appear before Prestatyn Magistrates’ Court on the 5th November.

“Reviews in respect of further suspects under investigation by North Wales Police are continuing.”

Evans, 23, of Millhouse Green, Penistone, was jailed for five years at Caernarfon Crown Court on April 20 for raping a 19-year-old woman in a Rhyl hotel room.

The footballer admitted having sex with her, but the prosecution said she was too drunk to consent to sexual intercourse.

Following the trial, the victim was allegedly named and subjected to abuse on Twitter and other social networking websites.

More than a dozen arrests were made, with North Wales Police saying the alleged online comments contributed to the victim’s ‘continued trauma’.