ONE of two footballers accused of raping a teenager - including Sheffield United star Ched Evans - told a jury today he never forced her to have sex.
Port Vale defender Clayton McDonald and Blades striker Ched Evans, both aged 23, deny the alleged attack on the woman, then aged 19, at a North Wales hotel last May.
The woman told police she has no memory of the incident and the prosecution says she was too drunk to consent to sexual intercourse.
Giving evidence at Caernarfon Crown Court, McDonald, of Marys Gate, Crewe, Cheshire, said he met the complainant in the street following a night out with childhood friend Evans, of Ashtree Gardens, Millhouse Green, Penistone, South Yorkshire.
He said Evans, whose mother lives in Rhyl, had invited him and others for a bank holiday night out in the seaside town on May 29.
However, because there was not enough space at Evans’s mother’s house, Evans had booked him into a Premier Inn hotel nearby.
After visiting a number of bars, the group ended up at a takeaway where there was a disturbance and McDonald, who described himself as ‘a little bit drunk’, decided to head for a taxi back to his hotel.
He said: “I got to a corner and turned around and saw a girl walk up to me.
“I said ‘hi, where are you going’ and she said ‘where are you going’.
“I said I was going to my hotel and she said ‘I’m coming with you’.”
Asked by Lloyd Morgan, defending, how the complainant appeared, the footballer said she was ‘walking fine’, holding a pizza box, and he was able to understand what she was saying.
He said: “She was coming across very clear.”
After flagging down a taxi, he said the woman got into the back of the car but the driver told her she could only have food in the front so she got out of the vehicle and moved into the front passenger seat and he sat in the back alone.
During the drive to the hotel, McDonald said he asked her name, where her friends were and if she had a good night, and she replied to all his questions.
He also said he sent a text message to Evans saying he had ‘met a girl’.
At the hotel, he said they walked in ‘linking arms’ and went to his room where they sat on the bed and she began touching him.
McDonald, who made two appearances on loan at Chesterfield FC in 2009, said: “I opened the door to room 14 and she walked in and put the pizza box on the side and sat on the bed.
“I sat next to her and that’s when she grabbed me.”
Asked by Mr Morgan if he had forced her to do anything, McDonald said: “No.”
McDonald said the woman started undressing and he helped undo a couple of her buttons and then took his T-shirt off as she removed her own clothes.
They then began having sex and he said she was ‘moaning and groaning like she was enjoying herself’.
Responding to questions from Mr Morgan, the footballer said the woman was awake throughout.
After about 10 minutes he noticed something at the window of the ground-floor room so got up to close the curtains.
The jury was earlier told that, as the incident took place, Jack Higgins, an ‘associate’ of the footballers, and Ryan Roberts, Evans’s brother, had watched through a window.
Video recordings found on Mr Higgins’s phone showed he had been filming or trying to film the incident.
McDonald told the jury he noticed “two lads” at the window and it was Mr Higgins and Mr Roberts.
He said: “I went to close the curtains and then I noticed that Ched had come into the room.”
He said the woman also saw Evans, who then asked to ‘join in’, to which she agreed.
McDonald said he watched Evans and the woman ‘for a little bit’ and described her as ‘generally enjoying herself’.
He then said he went to the bathroom and decided to leave.
McDonald said he said ‘see you later’ to Evans and the woman then went to ask the receptionist at the hotel to ensure she got home OK.
He said: “She never had a handbag or a phone and I knew she wouldn’t be able to phone anyone to come and get her.”
He met Evans outside the hotel and the pair walked back to his mother’s house.
Asked again by Mr Morgan if he had forced the complainant to have sex, McDonald replied: “No.”
“Was she awake?” the barrister went on.
“Yes,” the footballer replied.
Mr Morgan said: “Was she able to speak and move about by herself?”
McDonald said: “Yes.”
The trial continues.