Woman at centre of Ched Evans trial named again on social media

Police are investigating allegations that the woman at the centre of the Ched Evans rape trial has again been named on social media.

Wednesday, 19th October 2016, 8:23 am
Updated Tuesday, 25th October 2016, 8:23 pm
Ched Evans
Ched Evans

The Chesterfield FC striker, who used to play for Sheffield United, was found not guilty of raping a 19-year-old woman after a retrial following a five-year battle to clear his name.

Despite the not guilty verdict, the complainant is entitled by law to lifelong anonymity.

She was forced to move house at least five times following the original trial, after being repeatedly identified on social media.

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North Wales Police, which investigated the allegation of rape, is now investigating alleged further naming of the woman in the wake of the retrial - a criminal offence under the Sexual Offences Amendments Act.

Detective Chief Inspector Jason Devonport, who is leading the investigation, said: "North Wales Police are investigating allegations under Section Five of the Sexual Offences Act, where any individual found committing these offences will be investigated and brought to justice.

"People should be reminded that the complainant has the right to life-long anonymity."

The 27-year-old footballer was convicted in 2012 of raping the woman in a Premier Inn near Rhyl, north Wales.

He served half of a five-year prison sentence before being released.

Mr Evans joined League One club Chesterfield FC after the Court of Appeal quashed his conviction and ordered a retrial earlier this year.

His family employed private investigators to gather new evidence, with a £50,000 reward offered for information to help his case.

In a rare move, jurors in his trial heard evidence from two men who had sex with the complainant around the time of the rape allegation.

Concerns have been raised that revealing details of the complainant's sexual history had set a dangerous precedent.

Justice for Women co-founder, Julie Bindel, said the case had set the fight for justice for victims of rape and sexual assault back by 30 years.

It is feared some women may think twice about reporting offences if details of their sexual past could be aired in public.