A former Derbyshire journalist who helped to clear Ched Evans' name says he is pleased that 'justice has finally been done'.
Don Hale, former editor of the Matlock Mercury, spoke after the Chesterfield FC striker was found not guilty of raping a 19-year-old woman at a hotel room in north Wales following a re-trial at Cardiff Crown Court.
Mr Hale - who successfully campaigned to free Stephen Downing after he was wrongfully convicted of the murder of Wendy Sewell in Bakewell in the 1970s - said: "I spent four years working to help clear Ched of the rape charge and throughout that period faced a tremendous amount of hostility and verbal abuse.
"I am now so pleased for Ched and for all his family that justice has finally been done.
"I never doubted the outcome but was disappointed he had to face a totally irrelevant re-trial following his acquittal at appeal.
"North Wales Police certainly have a lot to answer for and should fully apologise to him and accept they are responsible for a badly misjudged wrongful conviction.
"This is my fourth miscarriage and I am pleased that a large part of my research and submission papers helped to clear Ched's name and remain hopeful he can now put this life back together again.
"Due credit to Chesterfield FC for supporting Ched and for taking a potential risk by allowing him to prove himself on the field. It's now a win-win situation."