He’s gone from earning £7,000 a week to just £7 in the nick, writes Jo Davison.
But still convicted rapist and former United player Ched Evans thinks money can buy him what he wants.
Right now, it’s not a fancy car, a rich girlfriend and nights on the town with his mates; it’s not any woman he can use his fame to manouevre into bed. All he desires is freedom.
That’s the one thing he can’t have. And let’s reiterate why. A crown court jury found him guilty of raping a woman too drunk to consent to sex, having ruled he sneaked into the hotel room where she was having sex with his mate. Legal experts twice called on to revisit his case and grant him permission to appeal, twice endorsed the jury’s decision.
That’s it. Game over. But still Ched, a man used to making things happen on a football pitch, is persisting. He claims ‘absolute innocence’ and describes his conviction as ‘a gross miscarriage of justice’. Well, that’s as much his right as any convicted rapist
But where he and most every other rapist differ is he’s got the financial backing to hire a private detective, set up a website and offer cash rewards for information. He hopes to buy himself new evidence and ensure fans keep their deluded faith, thus paving his way back to the pitch on release.
It’s sickening. So are the website’s claims of “redressing the balance” (he thinks everything that happened to him was unfair – no thought still for the victim) and of presenting evidence in “a balanced and accurate way”.
This blatant attempt to put only his side of the story includes witness statements not allowed in court – by legal experts – that make claims about the girl and her conduct. Yet there’s nothing about his behaviour that night, his drinking habits or his sex life. It’s about as balanced as a tightrope walker with cramp.
It’s not a game of monopoly. You can’t buy a get out of jail card, Ched. We’d have more respect for you if you shut up and finished your time.