Ched Evans rape case: first appeal lost against conviction
The Wales and ex-Sheffield United footballer Ched Evans has lost the first stage of his appeal against his conviction for rape.
The striker was jailed for five years in April for raping a 19-year-old woman at a hotel near Rhyl, Denbighshire.
Evans' lawyers said a single judge at the Court of Appeal had refused his application for leave to appeal.
But they said he maintained his innocence and would pursue a hearing by the full Court of Appeal.
Manchester-based law firm Brabners Chaffe Street said in a statement on Monday: "We have today received notification from the Court of Appeal that the single judge has refused Ched Evans' application for leave to appeal against his conviction for rape.
"We wish to confirm that Ched Evans continues to maintain his innocence in this matter and, as he is entitled to do so, he shall continue with his appeal to the full Court of Appeal where he believes that a comprehensive and objective analysis of the case will ultimately lead to his conviction being overturned."
Evans was jailed at Caernarfon crown court in April after being found guilty of raping the woman at a hotel near Rhyl in May 2011.
He admitted having had sex with her, but the woman told the jury that she had no memory of the incident - and the prosecution argued that she was too drunk to consent to sexual intercourse.
Evans was released by his club at the end of the season.