LONDON: British footballer Ched Evans will face a retrial after his conviction for raping a 19-year-old woman was quashed by the Court of Appeal in London on Thursday.
The former Wales striker, 27, was released from prison in October 2014 after serving half of a five-year sentence for raping the woman in a hotel room in Rhyl, north Wales in May 2011.
His conviction was overturned by three leading judges following appeal proceedings last month. Details of the grounds of appeal cannot be reported for legal reasons.
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Judge Heather Hallett 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 declared: “The appellant will be retried on the allegation of rape.” A fresh indictment against Evans was ordered to be served within two months.
Evans, whose former clubs include Manchester City and Sheffield United, was in court to hear the verdict announced along with his girlfriend, Natasha Massey.
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After the ruling, Evans’s lawyer read a statement outside the court in which he said his client was “extremely grateful” to the judges for quashing his conviction.
Evans’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 it unearthed new evidence.
Following his release, Evans saw an attempt to resurrect his career with English third-tier club Oldham Athletic collapse amid a public outcry.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 22nd, 2016.
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