England

Wales international jailed for rape

Guilty
Ched Evans has been sentenced to five years for rape.
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Ched Evans has been jailed for five years for raping a teenager who was "too drunk to consent" to sex as two of his friends watched and tried to film it on a mobile phone.

The Sheffield United and Wales striker was found guilty of raping the then 19-year-old at a hotel following a night out in Rhyl, north Wales, last May.

His co-defendant, Port Vale defender Clayton McDonald, was found not guilty of the same charge.

Court proceedings were disrupted after McDonald was acquitted, prompting a brief adjournment.

The court heard that both men admitted they had sex with the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, but the prosecution said she was too drunk to consent to sexual intercourse.

In her evidence to police, the woman said she has no memory of the incident and believes her drink may have been spiked.

The jury first returned a not guilty verdict on McDonald after four hours and 52 minutes of deliberations.

McDonald, of Marys Gate, Crewe, Cheshire, looked elated as the verdict was read out.

His family and friends in the public gallery reacted by shouting "Yes, yes".

One man left the courtroom and could be heard screaming.

Judge Merfyn Hughes QC then rose and everyone in the public gallery was ordered to leave the court.

McDonald remained in the dock with Evans, 23, of Ashtree Gardens, Millhouse Green, Penistone, South Yorkshire, who held his head in his hands and cried hysterically.

McDonald hugged Evans and the two footballers, who first met when they were both at the Manchester City youth academy, banged heads together.

When the judge returned to the court, the jury foreman gave the guilty verdict against Evans.

The Sheffield United centre forward threw the headphones he was using to follow the trial on the floor and then looked shocked.

Judge Hughes told McDonald he was free to leave the dock and after the footballer exited the court, shouts of "No, no" could be heard.

In a statement released via Sheffield United's website, Evans's lawyers said: "Ched Evans is shocked and extremely disappointed with the decision reached today by the jury at Caernarfon Crown Court to convict him of the charge brought against him.

"Mr Evans firmly maintains his innocence in this matter and is being advised regarding an appeal of the decision."

Sheffield United said the club recognised "the seriousness of these events and as such wishes to respond in a responsible way when it has taken sufficient time to consider the matter fully".