Ched Evans rape trial: Alleged victim’s eyes were ‘glazed over’ as she entered hotel

Footballer Ched Evans with partner Natasha Massey,  arriving at Cardiff Crown Court. PIC: PA
Footballer Ched Evans with partner Natasha Massey, arriving at Cardiff Crown Court. PIC: PA

A hotel receptionist said a woman allegedly raped by footballer Ched Evans was extremely drunk and her eyes were ‘glazed over’, a court heard.

Gavin Burrough, who worked at the Premier Inn in Rhyl where the alleged rape took place in 2011 when Evans was a Sheffield United player, told a jury at Cardiff Crown Court the woman was unsteady on her feet when she arrived at the hotel at 4.10am with Evans’ friend and fellow footballer Clayton McDonald.

“Her eyes were glazed over and she had a vacant expression on her face. She didn’t seem to realise I was there. She seemed to look straight through me,” he said.

“I did ask if she was OK. Did I get a reply? No.”

After retrieving a pizza box from outside the hotel, the woman and Mr McDonald walked off towards the room - without asking for a key from reception.

Around 15 minutes later, the court heard, Evans arrived in a taxi with two other men.

Mr Burrough said the defendant, whom he did not know at the time, came up to the reception desk and asked for a key.

However, questions were asked because the room had been booked in the name of Clayton McDonald.

Mr Burrough said: “He (Evans) said the room had originally been booked for his friend but his friend no longer needed the room and he would use it instead.”

After Evans gave his address - which matched the details on the hotel’s computer - and produced his driving licence as proof of his identity, a key for Room 14 was issued.

However, the witness said he was “concerned” that the other two men in the taxi outside may have been in the room too - which was against company rules.

Mr Burrough said he then went to check on Room 14 and, from the corridor, heard a man’s voice say “Are you going to suck this c*** or what?”

The witness said the woman did not reply and a male voice said “No?”

Mr Burrough said he then returned to reception and saw Mr McDonald about 15 minutes later asking for the number of a taxi.

The receptionist also said he had seen the two men from the taxi outside “standing close” to Room 14’s window and appearing to look inside.

During cross-examination by defence counsel Judy Khan QC, Mr Burrough was asked about the statement he had given to police.

He agreed that he told officers the woman had said to Mr McDonald when entering the hotel: “You are not going to leave me here, are you?”

Mr Burrough also agreed with Miss Khan that the hotel’s CCTV footage showed the woman picking up a pizza box from the floor while wearing “very high platform shoes”.

Evans, whose original conviction was quashed before a retrial ordered, denies raping the woman and insists the sex they had was consensual.

Jurors also heard a transcript of Evans being interviewed by police - prior to him being charged in July.

The then Sheffield United player told officers that he had texted childhood friend Mr McDonald asking him go for a night out in Rhyl during a week off.

Evans said he had booked the hotel for Mr McDonald while he planned to stay with family nearby.

“We we all having a great time in Zu Bar ... lovely birds, and then we left to go to the kebab shop,” he told police.

Evans said he became separated from Mr McDonald after one of their friends was racially abused by another reveller.

The former Norwich City loanee later received a text from his friend saying “I’ve got a girl”.

He said he decided to go the Premier Inn via taxi with his younger brother and another friend “for a laugh” and also so they could tell Mr McDonald that one of their friends had been arrested.

The trio “tapped on the window” but got no answer. Evans said he then decided to get a room key from reception and go into the room.

Evans told police: “I thought that Clay would be asleep ... (but) he was having sex with a woman. He said to the girl ‘Can my mate join in?’ and she said ‘Yeah’ straight away and that was that.”

The defendant said his younger brother and a friend initially watched and were “giggling” at the window before leaving.

Evans told police that, while he had never met the girl before and did not know her name, he was sure she had given him consent to have sex.

He added: “No-one was drunker than anyone else.

“She wasn’t slumping about or acting really drunk.

“Was I drunk? Yeah, I was just enjoying it.

“She was just on the bed and she was enjoying it.”

Evans told police he and Mr McDonald had a threesome together three or four years previously and they “often” saw each other naked when they lived together in the past.

The St Asaph-born footballer said that at the time he had a girlfriend, which was why he decided not to stay the night.

He said to police: “She (my girlfriend) hates me going out because the girls throw themselves at you and that’s part and parcel of being a footballer.”

Evans said that partway through the threesome at the Premier Inn, Mr McDonald walked out.

He said he carried on for a short while, but suddenly stopped having unprotected sex with the woman before turning the light on, getting dressed and then leaving himself.

When asked by police as to how the woman reacted, he said: “She just huffed and rolled over and went to sleep.”

Evans said he then walked out through the fire escape before deciding to walk home.

The case continues.