Wales footballer Ched Evans suing former defence lawyers

image copyrightWales news service
image captionChed Evans's case against Brabners will be heard at the High Court in April

Welsh footballer Ched Evans is suing lawyers who defended him against a rape allegation which saw him jailed for two and a half years.

Mr Evans had a rape conviction quashed before being cleared altogether but he now wants to recoup lost earnings after a five-year battle to clear his name.

The case will be heard at the High Court in London in April, according to the Press Association.

His former legal representatives Brabners said it was "without merit".

Former Manchester City and Sheffield United striker Mr Evans, 29, was originally convicted following a trial of raping a 19-year-old woman in a Premier Inn near Rhyl, Denbighshire, in May 2011.

At the time, he was playing for Sheffield United and was earning a reported £18,000 a week.

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image captionMr Evans was playing for Sheffield United at the time of the incident

But the Court of Appeal quashed his conviction and ordered a retrial in 2016.

Private investigators gathered new evidence, with a £50,000 reward offered for information to help his case.

In a rare move, the jury at Cardiff Crown Court heard from two men who had had sex with the complainant around the time of the rape allegation.

The jury of seven women and five men took less than three hours to find Mr Evans not guilty of the charge following the eight-day trial.

After the verdict, Mr Evans said he was "overwhelmed with relief".

Mr Evans, now on loan with Fleetwood Town, is seeking damages from the legal firm which represented him in the original trial.

A Brabners spokesperson said: "Brabners put forward a strong defence of the criminal case against Ched Evans following a thorough process and we are vigorously defending our handling of the case.

"We believe the claim for damages is entirely without merit."

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