Sheffield United striker Evans jailed for five years after being found guilty of rape
15:10 GMT, 20 April 2012
Sheffield United and Wales footballer 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.
Former Manchester City striker Evans 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.
Guilty: Sheffield United and Wales striker Ched Evans at Caernafon Crown Court
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.
In top form: Evans has scored 35 goals for Sheffield United this season
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.
A statement released on behalf of Evans read: '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.
International man: Evans was capped 13 times by Wales
'Mr Evans firmly maintains his innocence in this matter and is being advised regarding an appeal of the decision.
'No further comment will be made whilst the legal process is ongoing.'
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'.
Evans started his career at Manchester City, making his debut at 18-years-old in a Carling Cup tie against Norwich in September 2007.
The Canaries took him on loan in the Championship for the 2007/08 campaign where he scored 10 goals.
Young star: Evans started his career at Manchester City where he made 16 appearances in two years
He impressed enough to be called up to the Wales squad in May 2008 by then manager John Toshack where he made his international debut, scoring in a 1-0 friendly win over Iceland. He has since won 13 caps scoring twice overall.
Evans spent the following campaign making mainly substitute appearances for City before being transferred to Sheffield United in the summer of 2009 for 3million.
After scoring 13 goals in two seasons playing in the Championship, Evans enjoyed a prolific campaign in League One this term. The Welshman netted 35 goals in 42 games for the Blades, and was named Player of the Month for March