CHED EVANS: "People need educating on alcohol and consent"’

Ched Evans
Ched Evans
Have your say

Former Sheffield United footballer Ched Evans, cleared of raping a woman after details of her sex life were put before a jury, has called for more education on alcohol and consent amid continued criticism of his retrial.

The former Wales international and current Chestefield DC striker, convicted of rape in 2012 but whose conviction was subsequently quashed, insisted he could not apologise to the 19-year-old complainant because he had committed no crime when he had sex with her while she was drunk.

But the 27-year-old, who told police at time of his arrest that his profession meant “we could have any girl we wanted,” said he now wants to speak to younger players about risks their behaviour could generate.

He told Mail on Sunday: “I was young at the time and I was stupid. I wasn’t aware of the situations you could potentially find yourself in that would land you in trouble.

“I have never been taught about anything like that. You get your gambling and drinking training but nothing else on top of that. In this day and age people need educating on alcohol and consent.”

He added: “I read somewhere you would have to get signed consent. That wouldn’t be realistic but someone needs to come up with something.

Ched Evans and partner Natasha Massey

Ched Evans and partner Natasha Massey

"The best thing is just to be educated. And, when they are drunk, think twice about it. How would it look in a court of law?”

Friday's acquittal of the father-of-one after a retrial prompted furious debate over rules surrounding the questioning of complainants in rape cases.

Although the law states that victims cannot be routinely questioned about their sexual history, it can be permitted by judges in exceptional circumstances.

Lawyers for Mr Evans argued that such circumstances had arisen in his case and the defence was allowed to call two witnesses who had been sexual partners of the complainant.

Prosecutors had alleged that the young woman, who has since been named and vilified on social media to the extent that she has had to change her name five times and move home, had blacked out and been unable to give consent when the incident happened at a Rhyl hotel in 2011.

Mr Evans, who had walked into the hotel room when a fellow player was having sex with the woman, insisted along with the other player that the woman had given consent. He proceeded to have sex with her without talking to her, the court heard.

A prominent women’s rights campaigner claimed yesterday that the case had led to a “rapists’ charter” and left her believing that she would not approach police if she were attacked and could not advise other women to do so because of the ordeal they face in court.

Justice for Women co-founder Julie Bindel said: “It is with immense regret that I have concluded this: unless you are a teetotal virgin, it is probably best not to report rape unless you are very robust and have masses of support.

“I can honestly say that things have got much worse for women who make the difficult and brave decision to report rape. I can honestly say the verdict in the Evans case will put countless victims off reporting, and result in scores of guilty men walking free.”