JURORS in the trial of two footballers - including Sheffield United star Ched Evans - who deny raping a teenager have been warned to ignore the past conduct of other high-profile players.
Summing up at Caernarfon Crown Court, Judge Merfyn Hughes QC said it might be thought certain well-paid players had behaved in a manner which left much to be desired.
However, he told the jury of seven men and five women: “You mustn’t allow any views of that kind to have any bearing on your decision in this case.”
Evans, of Ashtree Gardens, Millhouse Green, Penistone, and Port Vale defender Clayton McDonald, both aged 23, accept having sex with the 19-year-old restaurant worker, but deny raping the woman in a Premier Inn at Rhuddlan, near Rhyl, last May.
The prosecution claim she was ‘very drunk’ and not in a fit state to consent.
Judge Hughes told the jury: ”You need to reach a conclusion on what was the complainant’s state of intoxication. Was she just disinhibited, or had what she’d taken removed her capacity to exercise a choice.”
But David Fish QC, for Evans, said in his closing speech to the jury that history showed false rape allegations were made.
Mr Fish told the jurors: “What we say is the falsity here is the alleged lack of memory.
“The importance of this case and your decision to Mr Evans cannot be exaggerated.”
He said the woman went willingly into the hotel and had not drunk so much she was unable to consent to sex.
Lloyd Morgan, for McDonald, of Crewe, Cheshire, said his client may have behaved in a ‘caddish’ manner when he left the bedroom at the Premier Inn as Evans had sex with the woman, but it did not make him guilty of rape.
The trial continues.