Ched Evans was jailed for five years after a jury decided he entered a cheap hotel room after getting a text from his friend Clayton McDonald that said he’d ‘got a bird’, writes The Editor James Mitchinson.
The woman was drunk, but at some point agreed to have sex with Mr McDonald.That is what the jury believed in any case and Mr McDonald walked free. The jury did not believe that the woman wanted to have sex with Mr McDonald’s boyhood pal, Evans.
It did not believe that woman knew Evans would turn up and walk freely into that hotel room to take advantage of her. It did not believe that woman would have wanted all of the above recorded on film by Evans’ mates. The jury felt that Evans had in fact become a sexual predator when afforded the opportunity via that text message.
An independent jury decided that the ‘bird’ Mr McDonald had ‘got’ became Evans’ prey at that moment, and as a consequence he was convicted of having sex with a person in drink who was not aware of his doing so. That’s rape and punishable by imprisonment.
What seemingly is up for debate is unanimous conviction that what Evans did adds up to such a grave act. TV’s Judy Finnigan tried to explain just that as she discussed the case on Loose Women. Ms Finnigan attempted to articulate why this particular case divides opinion. ‘It was not a violent rape’, she said. ‘Yes it was unpleasant, but he didn’t harm her’.
She stressed vehemently that what Evans did was ‘reprehensible’. She absolutely did not suggest for a moment that what Evans did was okay because he didn’t use force.
What I think she was trying to do is make people understand why sidling up to a comatose woman in order to have penetrative – or any other form thereof – sex with her is rape. End of debate.
Evans has released a video statement appealing to clubs to allow him to return to professional football. He said he regrets his ‘infidelity’ and the damage it caused.
STAR EDITOR’S OPINION: No way back to Sheffield United for rapist Ched Evans.