Wales

Ched Evans: Wales footballer's rape conviction quashed

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Media captionChed Evans refused to answer questions as he left court

Footballer Ched Evans has had his conviction for rape quashed at the Court of Appeal in London, but will face a new trial.

The ex-Wales international was jailed in 2012 for raping a 19-year-old at a Premier Inn near Rhyl, Denbighshire.

The former Sheffield United, Manchester City and Norwich player was released from jail in October 2014 after serving half of his five-year term.

Mr Evans, 27, has always denied raping the woman.

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Media captionChed Evans has released a statement, read by his lawyer, saying he is "extremely grateful" for the work of his lawyers

Speaking outside court Mr Evans's solicitor Shaun Draycott said: "Ched Evans is extremely grateful that the court of appeal has ruled that his conviction for rape was unsafe and should be quashed."

The striker's case was referred to the Court of Appeal by the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), which investigates possible miscarriages of justice in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, after new evidence emerged.

Lady Justice Hallett, Mr Justice Flaux and Sir David Maddison heard submissions over two days from Kieran Vaughan QC, for Mr Evans, and from Eleanor Laws QC, for the Crown.

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Image caption Ched Evans started his career at Manchester City before moving to Sheffield United, where he scored 48 goals

Announcing the court's decision, Lady Justice Hallett said the judges heard "fresh evidence" during the appeal hearing on 22 and 23 March.

She said: "In summary, we have concluded that we must allow the appeal and that it is in the interests of justice to order a retrial."

The court quashed Mr Evans's conviction and declared: "The appellant will be retried on the allegation of rape."

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Media captionLady Justice Hallett said the judges had heard 'fresh evidence' during the appeal

Mr Evans has not been signed by a new club since his release from prison.

A Football Association of Wales spokesman said: "The FAW notes the decision of the Court of Appeal on the appeal by Ched Evans against his conviction for rape.

"The matter remains subject to ongoing court proceedings. As such, the FAW will not be making any further comment on this matter at this time."

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