We should not stop Ched Evans returning to football

Comment

Ched Evans is a convicted rapist: that is indisputable. What should happen to him, having completed the prison component of his sentence, however, remains to be decided. While an immediate return to his old job is clearly out of the question, an eventual return to football should not be ruled out. There are also serious shortcomings to the campaign to prevent his re-employment which raise important questions about how we as a society, treat those who have been convicted of serious offences.

Firstly, I think we need to clarify exactly what sort of job Ched Evans would be going back into. It’s easy to associate ‘professional football’ with the enormous salaries and extravagant lifestyles seen at the top of the Premier League, but for the League One and Two clubs that have made moves to sign Evans, things are much more modest. Exact figures are hard to judge, but the average salary in League Two is around £65,000. He would be well paid, but a return to football would not make him a millionaire.

Similarly, the lower tiers of professional football are by no means as prestigious as many of Evans’ critics would like to suggest. Most League Two games draw crowds of only a few thousand and most people – dedicated fans excluded – cannot name any of their ‘local’ team’s players. Does going into League Two football really make Evans into a high-profile role model, or is it simply a slide into relative obscurity?

Put simply, is going into League Two football really worse than for Ched Evans to take any other fairly well-paid, fairly prominent position? There would not be such an outcry if Evans were returning to a job in management consultancy. If we take the view that rapists should not be hired for any ‘prestigious’ position, that raises serious questions about how we deal with those who have been convicted of serious crimes.

Generally speaking, further punishment once an offender has been released from prison does not benefit society. Criminals have, by definition, committed often-terrible crimes, but demonization and exclusion from work serves only to increase recidivism; if we prevent the convicted from honest work according to their talents, is it any surprise if they return to crime?  As a high-profile offender, and a convicted rapist, Evans does not neatly fit this profile, but we need to consider this general principle if we are to demand that he be prevented from returning to football. It is an over-simplification to say ‘criminal, therefore bad, therefore should not hold a ‘privileged job.’ People who are convicted of crimes, no matter how serious, should not be denied the potential for rehabilitation.

We should also be concerned by the nature of the campaign against Evans re-joining professional football. Even if we accept that this is a reasonable reaction to a high-profile rapist, the unevenness with which the internet responds reeks more of mob-rule than the application of justice. Ched Evans is, depressingly, far from the only rapist in Britain, but the campaign against him has achieved a disproportionate momentum of its own. We must trust to the criminal justice system to punish offenders – if his sentence is too short, that is another matter – allowing amorphous groups of internet activists to decide these matters is not the recipe for a fair society.

Ched Evans is not the victim of this drama, and we should not be too keen to come to his defence. But that does not mean we must rush to judge and condemn him beyond what the law has already done. Allowing Evans to return to the lower echelons of professional football does not mean to say that he is not a rapist, nor does it heap undue fame and riches upon him. We should not prevent this man from returning to his career but should simply allow him to fade from the public eye.

102 thoughts on “We should not stop Ched Evans returning to football

  1. This crap needs ended NOW
    Hatchett needs a Hatchett thru her skull
    Evans needs to go back to his profession and live his life

  2. My necessarily separate comments tonight, on these two regrettably separate, near simultaneous new blog posts on Oxford Student, both hot off the press,

    Ched Evans should not return to football
    by Charlotte Vickers
    http://oxfordstudent.com/2015/01/23/ched-evans-should-not-return-to-football/

    and

    We should not stop Ched Evans returning to football
    by James Monroe
    http://oxfordstudent.com/2015/01/23/we-should-not-stop-ched-evans-returning-to-football/

    are identically worded. I have thus committed the netiquette sin of “cross-posting”. However, I defend the usually impolite practice on this unique occasion. Why? Because it would have been helpful, or at least less unhelpful, for this “debate at cross purposes” (as I call it), between the two protagonists Charlotte and James, and the unfortunately separate commenters on their separate posts, all to have taken place on one page.

    I have commented on this whole Ched Evans affair myself, conducting at least a superficial *analysis* of its sheer complexity, at:

    Ched Evans – a poor choice of battlefield for a gender politics culture war pitched battle
    https://johnallmanuk.wordpress.com/2015/01/11/ched-evans/

    I have criticisms to make of the posts of both Charlotte “rape culture” Vickers and James “he’s a convicted rapist” Monroe. I those criticisms in due course, and in whatever detail people here invite me to do so, if so-encouraged to do so. Anybody who has merely understood even the title of my own blog post on the Ched Evans affair, let alone actually read that analytic post of mine, if they are clever enough to have got into Oxford, as a Student, is encouraged to encourage me to comment further, more specifically, on both of the two posts.

    Personally, I have doubts that many will show me that much respect. I have never been an Oxford Student. (I was asked, at interview, whether I thought I could cox, after the observation that I didn’t look muscular enough to be a rower.) That was 45 years ago. Nowadays, a semi-retired grandfather of eight, I amuse myself by attempting to open up inter-generational intellectual dialogue occasionally, wherever there is the best hope that any dialogue might turn out not to be as counter-intellectual as it often is on the web nowadays, including on Oxford Student.

    UK Criminal Law blog has covered this troubling case in the past. That’s another of my haunts.

  3. Why I support Ched Evans

    Before the middle of October I knew nothing of Ched Evans. I might have heard his name, but it meant nothing to me. A few days before his release from prison, there were reports of an on-line petition to blight his hopes of reinstatement at Sheffield United F.C. After voicing opposition to this objective, the broadcaster Judy Finnigan suffered a tirade of vituperative abuse, and her daughter was threatened. I found this sinister and alarming. The issues surrounding Ched’s case are a matter of serious public interest. People must feel free to express their opinions, however controversial, without intimidation. Their views should, of course, be subject to rigorous examination and open to challenge.

    I decided to look into the matter. I have no interest in football and am not (or rather I was not) one of Ched’s fans. I therefore approached the circumstances in which he was convicted with impartial detachment. Having looked at the facts, I find his conviction profoundly disturbing. The person who shared the dock with him on the same charges was acquitted at the same time as Ched was convicted, although the evidence against them was virtually the same. I am at a loss to understand why the jury reached different verdicts. Though a court has ruled that this did not constitute an ‘inconsistency’, there is surely here an unbearable logical tension which should cause grave disquiet. Three significant people were voluntarily present at the ‘crime scene’. All were up to no good. From a moral point of view, there was no difference between them. One walked away unpunished, but not untainted; one received the cherished accolade of victimhood; and one was branded a vicious rapist. I find this outcome morally repugnant and an affront to common sense.

    Ched has admitted that on the night in question he behaved very badly, but has consistently protested his innocence of the crime of rape. He is supported in this not only by his own family but also by the father of his partner, Natasha Massey. To my mind, this speaks volumes. Any father would have a powerful instinct to protect his daughter from the attentions of the sort of man that Ched has been cast as. Mr Massey has expressed to me his whole-hearted support for Ched, despite Ched’s conviction and the sordid events that led to it. The conviction is now subject to appeal. Whatever the outcome of this process, I do not believe that Ched is a rapist and so I have pledged my commitment to support him. I think he was a silly young man, who in a moment of drunken stupidity allowed his very worst impulses to get the better of him.

    The second reason why I support Ched is that, even if he were guilty, he has now been duly punished. There is a long-established and widely respected principle that after serving a period in prison, people should, wherever possible, be reinstated to their place in society and fully rehabilitated. In Ched’s case this principle is being threatened without sufficient reason. One argument advanced is that, as a professional footballer, Ched serves as a role model. In a recent radio programme in which his case was discussed, the Sunday Times sports correspondent, David Walsh, made the telling point that many professional sportsmen are very bad role models. Why should we expect otherwise?

    In any case, it is not as if Ched Evans is presenting himself to the public as an unrepentant rapist, and maintaining that this is OK. Rather, he contends that he has been falsely accused and wrongly convicted of rape, and that he seeks to redress this. The distinction between these two diametrically opposite standpoints – and the very different practical implications that they entail – must be taken into account. Until his arrest, Ched’s career had been untainted by scandal or disgrace. He was a very popular and respected member of his team. It is both unfair and unrealistic to require someone of Ched’s age and inexperience to be a moral role model. Given the chance, he may have remarkable potential for this, since he acknowledges that he acted badly, claims to have learned from his mistakes, and resolves not to make similar ones in the future. Only time will tell.

    My third reason for supporting Ched is that I think he is being used as a scapegoat. The events of that fateful night in the hotel room in Rhyl are, I fear, symptomatic of a more pervasive and deep-rooted malaise. I am forty years older than Ched. Within my adult lifetime, many of the social conventions which once imposed restrictions on the libidinous propensities of young people have been eroded and undermined – arguably with dire consequences. Ched and others of his generation have grown up in a culture in which excessive drinking and sexual promiscuity are rife, and regarded by many as acceptable. No one has any reason to be surprised, and very little right to be indignant, when such incidents take place. They are the inevitable result of a moral decline that many have connived at.

    I have read the text of the on-line petition. Those who drafted and signed it have justifiable grievances about the abuse suffered by women; but they have chosen a very bad site on which to fight their battle. Here there is no moral high ground on which they can take a firm stand. Here there is no black and white; only shades of grey. The ‘victim’ is not a victim in any serious sense of the word, as her experience on that night was a predictable consequence of the bad choices that she herself had freely made. Moreover, Ched’s status as a ‘rapist’ is far too dubious to make him a convincing villain. These words are labels, attached for polemical convenience, but they are not an accurate description of the underlying reality. The authors of the petition and all their fellow travellers need to take full account of the dark cultural complexities which have led to the pervasive moral deficiencies that rightly concern them.
    Although I have no interest in football, I recognise and respect the vital role that the game plays in our national life. Local clubs are an important focus of pride and loyalty. As such, they must take seriously any difficult decisions they might be called upon to make. In view of the controversy that has raged since his release from prison, they do not come much harder than this one. The arguments for making a scapegoat of Ched Evans are feeble. The countervailing arguments for his return to football are, I believe, overwhelming. I was greatly saddened that Sheffield United did not have the courage to reinstate ‘Super Ched’.
    J. Martin Stafford
    Written 31 October 2014; revised 4 January 2015

  4. Martin Stafford,
    The evidence against the two accused was profoundly different. Both had non consensual sex with the victim, but the rape conviction hinged on whether they had reasonable belief she consented. Mcdonald had gone to the hotel with the victim, was honest with staff about his presence there. However Evans upon getting a text from McDonald that he had got a girl headed straight for the hotel where he deceived staff into giving him a key. He entered the room with the admitted intention of having sex with the girl and got his brother to film the attack. Staff became concerned and checked on the room and at this point Evans hid and afterwards left by the fire escape. He later gave a statement to police which involved him contradicting McDonald when asked about the consent of the woman and telling police he could have any woman he wanted.

    I do not know how you can think Evans is a victim because people signed a petition against a rapist representing a team, yet say the victim is not really a victim because she chose to drink. That supports the notion of rape as an unofficial punishment for otherwise legal behaviour.

    Ched Evans obtained a key to a room by deception with the intention of having sex with the female occupant and having the attack filmed. The fact the female happened to be passed out made it easier for him to attack her, and proves she could not have consented. It does not justify his behaviour, nor complicate it. You don’t break into someone’s room have sex with them and then claim its OK because it turned out they were drunk anyway.

    As his returning to work, its not his right to return to any particular profession. Sheffield did not renew his contract before he was released and so he had no automatic right to return. Other players have been fired for less than rape. But more importantly football teams are funded by sponsors and the public have the right to boycott the sponsors just as they have the right to sign a petition and not vote for mps. It is therefore bad business to take on ched Evans, even though his future father in law is offering to pay teams to take him. Has anyone claiming he should be allowed to return to football come up with a way to make the public support his sponsors?

  5. What is the evidence that the ‘victim’ had passed out, apart from her merely disclaiming all recollection of the events.?

    The jury may well have been influenced in its deliberations by the different circumstances in which McDonald and Evans came to be in the hotel room. The girl had determinedly attached herself to McDonald and travelled with him by taxi to the hotel. This surely indicated her consent to what was likely to follow – a consent which was not necessarily extended to, nor necessarily withheld from, Evans, who arrived later in response to a text message from McDonald. However, none of these factors renders Evans’s conviction safe or even goes any way to supporting it; for he was convicted on the grounds that the girl lacked the capacity to consent by way of her inebriation.

    Common sense and everyday experience dictate that if she had been too drunk to consent to copulate with Evans, she must almost certainly have been too drunk to consent to copulate with McDonald only a few minutes earlier. Any consent suggested by the fact that the girl had voluntarily travelled to the hotel with McDonald would surely have been annulled by her subsequent incapacity and could not therefore be cited as justification for the disparity in the verdicts.

    A court has ruled that there was no inconsistency in the disparate verdicts. Strictly speaking, this is true. It is logically possible that her state of intoxication changed very rapidly, even though she consumed no more alcohol at the time in question. However, this is so highly improbable that without the strongest supporting evidence, no reasonable person would believe it, and no responsible jury would have convicted. There was no such evidence, and so, the disparity in the verdicts must be regarded as perverse. The case raises most alarmingly the dangers of putting people on trial where the evidence may well be tenuous to the point of vacuity. For what was at issue was not events in the physical world (sexual acts), nor the state of mind that authorised them (consent), but the capacity of one of the agents to give that consent. Had the incapacity been due to a permanent and readily verifiable condition such as imbecility, there would be no problem. Here, however, the alleged incapacity was ephemeral and impossible to gauge with the accuracy and certainty required to support a safe conviction.

    J. Martin Stafford

  6. J. Martin, you claim to have studied the case, please go and actually do so, it’s crystal clear why Evans got a guilty.

  7. There is no logical basis as to how how Evans was prosecuted and McDonald acquitted. To secure a rape conviction (in the absence of evidence of non-consent which was the case here) the prosecution need to show a) that the complainant was too drunk to consent and b) the defendant knew that the complainant was too drunk to consent.Given that the state of intoxication was the same with both Evans and McDonald (or at the least there was no evidence of sudden deterioration as it is accepted there were no other witnesses in the bedroom to say this or alcohol consumed) it cannot be logically argued that Evans knew the girl was too drunk and McDonald did’nt.This is because McDonald had spent much more time with the girl (in the taxi on the way to the hotel etc.) in which to gauge her state.If he correctly decided that her state was ok this clears Evans if he was wrong then he should have been convicted for rape.There is no logical way out of this conclusion.The jury were wrong.

  8. If anyone knows the facts of the case they would understand very well why McDonald got a not guilty verdict. It was because the fact he went to the hotel with her meant the jury believed there was reasonable doubt however small and possibly only in the minds of three jury members. Thats reasonable doubt as to whether or not he reasonably believed she consented. But Evans actions of lying to get a key, leaving by a fire escape, admitting he entered the room intending to have sex with the woman, contradicting McDonald on the issue of consent etc proved to the jury that it was beyond reasonable doubt he had no reasonable grounds to believe she consented. The attack by Evans was also filmed, whereas there is no footage of McDonald in the room with her. But according to the case files the phone footage shows that she is not fully conscious during the attack by Evans.

    What McDonald did or did not believe, is irrelevant to Evans as Evans was prosecuted based on his own belief or lack of belief. The fact that innocent before proven guilty beyond all reasonable doubt went in McDonalds favour does not mean Evans case wasn’t proven.

    Martin Stafford, if you read the judges report, the statute on rape and my above comment you will understand that the victim did not consent to either man having sex with her.

  9. Amazing how many people claim the jury got it wrong in Evans case because they found mcdonald not guilty, rather than thinking that maybe they got it wrong in McDonald’s case. The bar is setting very high for getting a rape conviction, its more likely a guilty person will be given the wrong verdict than an innocent person.

  10. Whether the woman consented was of no concern to the jury, Evans was convicted because she did’nt have the capacity to consent i.e. any consent she gave should not count.If she lacked capacity for Evans she must have lacked capacity for McDonald, Furthermore McDonald must have known this more than Evans because he spent much more time with her .There is no logical way out of this.You could argue however that McDonald was more culpable with his greater knowledge of the woman’s state.

    ‘The attack by Evans was also filmed, whereas there is no footage of McDonald in the room with her. But according to the case files the phone footage shows that she is not fully conscious during the attack by Evans’

    BTW where did you get this from as far as I’m aware no discernible footage was produced from the friends’ camera…

  11. Just in case anyone doubts it was capacity to consent which Evans was prosecuted on and not consent itself, from the Judge’s sentencing remarks: ‘

    “…. [the complainant] was in no position to form a capacity to consent to sexual intercourse, and you, when you arrived, must have realised that.”

    … If Evans must have realised that then McDonald definitely must have too!

  12. Some excellent observations here, but the legal position isn’t fully understood. In a case such, as this, where a penetrative sexual act has been performed on a woman (or man) who has provided consent (or where there is no evidence, as in this case, that she/he hasn’t) then the prosecution needs to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the capacity of the complainant is impaired beyond the point of admissibility. In this scenario, you have a factual consent, but a legal lack of consent. However, this is a necessary, but not a sufficient basis for determining guilt. The defendant has available to him the defence that he had a reasonable belief that consent was given. In this instance, the onus lies with the defence to demonstrate that the defendant had a reasonable belief. This explains the inconsistency in the verdicts. The complainant/victim was deemed too drunk to be able to consent to either – but McDonald was deemed to have a reasonable belief that consent was given, whereas Evans was not. So, there is nothing intrinsically wrong in law in the jury having arrived at two different verdicts. What matters here are two key questions: was the complainant/victim indeed too drunk to consent, and secondly, did either of the two accused have a valid reasonable belief.

    On the latter point, this case exposes a fundamental flaw in the law as it stands. It surprises me that the rape charities haven’t picked up on this – but then again they seem to be more interested in scapegoating Evans. The question arises: how can a defendant form a reasonable belief that a valid consent is given when the evidence of the intoxication of the complainant is obvious? How can any “reasonable belief” be deemed to trump the straightforward observation of manifestations of intoxication? In this case, McDonald would have been in a better position to judge that the complainant/victim was “too drunk to consent” than Evans, and yet he was still (implicitly) considered to have a reasonable belief that consent was given. I’m not implying for one second that McDonald was wrongly acquitted, because I don’t believe that the evidence of intoxication of the complainant/victim was strong enough. Had the jury come to the same conclusion then the question as to whether or not there was reasonable belief of consent wouldn’t even have come into play – both men would have been acquitted.

    The central argument in this whole case is whether or not the complainant/victim was too intoxicated to be able to give a valid, legal consent. I won’t go into the whole argument again – it’s been debated extensively already. I think it’s fair to say that the both prosecution and defence had some strong arguments in their favour. In my view this was a highly borderline decision. I tend to favour the defence’s take on this – but there’s not much doubt that both men behaved in an opportunistic, and arguably, exploitative manner. What is deeply unsatisfactory is that such a borderline conviction hasn’t produced a corresponding borderline sentence. The 5 year sentence of Ched Evans and the lifetime toxic tag of rapist conferred on him is a denial of the obvious truth that there are grey areas in the realm of sexual misconduct, as there are in crimes of violence and motoring offences, If indeed, the complainant/victim was too drunk to consent in this case, it was a borderline case, and the sentence should, in my opinion, at most have been a year in prison, and the punishable crime should have been without the toxic tag of “rapist” (sexual exploitation would be a more appropriate description).

    I have no idea what new evidence Ched Evans’ team are putting forward to the current review of his case, but if he doesn’t succeed don’t expect this case to go away. It has exposed deep flaws in the Sexual Offences Act 2003 that need to be addressed. The sensible outcome will be a more nuanced law, with sentences properly reflect the gravity of offences. This would, in borderline cases, such as Evans’, result in much shorter custodial sentences (and without the toxic “rapist” tag), but also there should be a removal of the nonsensical “reasonable belief” clause in cases of voluntary intoxication of the complainant. This will result in an increase in the conviction rate, so that a much greater proportion of those who are victims of sexual crime will receive justice and some form of closure. Two wrongs don’t make a right – this case should be a catalyst for improving legislation. Instead, we have the unedifying spectacle of seeing one individual being scapegoated, whilst nothing is being done to address the underlying reasons why so few victims of sexual crime obtain justice.

  13. Mark Johnson,
    That is incorrect. The judge made it very clear that drunken consent was still consent. The woman was found to be incapable of giving consent due to her semi conscious state. It was not the case that her consent was found to not count. This is made very clear in the judges reasoning for the refusal of leave to appeal.

    The jury decided to give McDonald the benefit of the dfoubt because he went to the hotel with her and so the jury found thus meant there was the possibility he reasonably believed she consented. Maybe they got it wrong and he was guilty but they had to look for doubt.
    However with Evans it is a much more clear cut case. He had no contact with the woman, stole a key to the room with the intention of having sex with her. When asked about whether she consented he gave contradictory statements. Originally he claimed he never even spoke to her and McDonald asked on his behalf. Evans also hid from staff when they became concerned for the woman and left by a fire escape whereas McDonald was honest about this presence.

    Remember the jury didn’t prove McDonald believed she consented just that there was reasonable doubt that he didn’t.

  14. An excellent balanced post- am I right in thinking that other countries have an offence for just this sort of drunken occurrence which falls short of the loaded ‘rapist’ conviction?

  15. Mark Johnson
    I am shocked that you consider a man stealing a key to a room and having sex with a semi conscious teenager he finds inside is a borderline case. Why just because she happened to be drunk? If he had told your neighbour he was a relative and needed your keys and let himself in and had sex with you whilst you were passed out would you consider it borderline just because he told the police you consented ( different versions too)?
    Why should rape be the only crime where belief can be unreasonable. That a man can have sex with someone with no reasonable grounds whatsoever.

  16. Fedup- he did’nt use those words because it can cause ‘distress’ apparently, his words:

    “A woman clearly does not have the capacity to make a choice if she is completely unconscious through the effects of drink and drugs, but there are various stages of consciousness, from being wide awake to dim awareness of reality. In a state of dim and drunken awareness you may, or may not, be in a condition to make choices. So you will need to consider the evidence of the complainant’s state and decide these two questions: was she in a condition in which she was capable of making any choice one way or another? If you are sure that she was not, then she did not consent. If, on the other hand, you conclude that she chose to agree to sexual intercourse, or may have done, then you must find the defendants not guilty.”

    But I am interested, where did you get the ‘semi conscious state’ from? As far as I can tell we have very little idea as to the woman’s state at intercourse because there were no independent witnesses.The famous kebab shop footage was over an hour before this.To convict Evans on the basis of this would be like convicting someone of drink driving by taking a breath test an hour before they got in the car…The CCTV footage at the hotel (nearer time of intercourse) show a woman able to walk unaided in wedges and remembering and carrying a pizza one-handed …The guy listening at the door heard both male and female sexual noises which at the least shows the woman was conscious during intercourse with McDonald.Her state with Evans- nobody knows! I am fairly sure the voyeurs outside with their phones took no useable footage, but if you know different let me have the source so I can check it and admit my mistake.

  17. Mark
    The judges who looked at his leave to appeal ( four judges) said that drunken consent is consented had been fully explained to the jury and that they had to decide if she had capacity to consent.
    The evidence regarding her capacity was presented to the jury and it was up to them to decide if she had capacity. The fact that they decided it was beyond reasonable doubt she had capacity says a lot about the evidence.
    The footage on the ched evans site has not been verified, and shows just a few seconds. It on its own is not enough to say someone was drunk or sober, but the jury looked at all the evidence. That included mcdonald’s own statement that he asked the staff to watch out for the girl due to her intoxication. So when they left they admit she was so intoxicated she coud be in danger. Now the jury were generous in McDonald’s case and gave him the benefit of the doubt because he had gone there with her. But there is no room for benefit of the doubt when Evans admitted obtaining a key by deception with the intention of having sex with a complete strange who had not given any indication of even wanting him to see her naked let alone have sex with him. My opinion is that going to a room with someone is not reasonable belief if that person is almost out of it, but its up to the jury to decide. Its certainly more worthy of doubt than stealing a room key. Evans also gave differing versions of how he got consent.

    As for the phone footage, it was in the media at the time I think but will try to find it.

  18. Mark,
    The fact the woman made noises does not indicate whether she was conscious or not.
    Earlier footage also shows the woman falling to the floor drunk and Evans looking at her and then shouting to McDonald. They had prebooked the room even though McDonald stay with Evans.

  19. Yes, but actions like obtaining another key for the room he had booked does’nt mean that he raped her after, he could have dishonestly used the key, seen she was ‘up for it’ and proceeded from there.The jury were not trying to see if he was behaving like a gentleman that night but if raped her.His evasive actions after the act could be seen as the guilty actions of a man who had just been unfaithful to his girlfriend. For the record I believe he behaved pretty poorly too.As a previous poster has written the key to this case was whether the female was capable of consent, because that was what he was convicted of.

    In the summing up the judge said ‘ So you will need to consider the evidence of the complainant’s state and decide these two questions: was she in a condition in which she was capable of making any choice one way or another? If you are sure that she was not, then she did not consent. If, on the other hand, you conclude that she chose to agree to sexual intercourse, or may have done, then you must find the defendants not guilty.” But the problem for me is that the woman had shown evidence of choice capability in that she previously chosen to join McDonald in the taxi,remembered and chose to retrieve the pizza and voluntarily entered the bedroom.Remember Evans was’nt charged with not obtaining consent because the prosecution knew it could not be proved ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ as the only witnesses were Evans and McDonald who said the girl asked Evans ‘to lick her out’ (implied consent) and there was no one else able to contradict this.So attempts to paint Evans in a bad light fail because it is all about the capability.

    My main point is this: its too late in this case (Evans has served his sentence) but we need a more objective measure to guide juries as to what constitutes capacity or lack of it for future cases.If we don’t have that the verdicts that are passed down in future drunken sex/rape cases will be more a matter of luck than judgement and may even depend on where your case is heard.Surely we all want consistent judgements.

  20. Mark,
    You really seem to have misunderstood this case and rape in general.

    There are three prongs to a rape case 1) a man must have penetrated an orifice of another person with his penis 2) that person did not consent and 3) the man did not have reasonable belief that the person consented. All three prongs must be proven beyond all reasonable doubt.

    Evans was convicted of rape which means the jury believed all three prongs were proven beyond reasonable doubt. That means the jury believed it was beyond reasonable doubt he did not believe the victim consented or that his belief was unreasonable. So you are incorrect to say this is all about the victim, it is just as much about evans Own actions.

    Both he and McDonald gave different versions as to how Evans gained consent, Evans admitted obtaining access to the room by deception with the intention of having sex with the woman in the room, he admits arranging for her to be filmed without her consent, he admits watching her have sex without her consent, and admits helping his brother and friends watch her without her consent. He also admitted hiding from staff, and leaving by a fire escape after the staff tried to check on the girl. His excuse that he would be recognised is poor since he was not well known and had shown his face going in, his claim the prebooked room was due to space restrictions doesn’t make sense as once they finished with the girl they left the room. The fact that mcdonald admitted he was concerned for the girls safety due to her intoxication add to the prosecution. It really is not surpising that evans got a guilty verdict and it goes to show juries are not bias against the accused as they gave mcdonald the benefit of the doubt. The fact that evans legal team tried to prevent the jury hearing everything he told the police don’t make him look good.

    The fact that the jury believed there was reasonable doubt in mcdonalds case means noing for Evans as their circumstances are entirely different. But the jury had the right to look at all the evidence and conclude McDonald tried to cover up for Evans and disbelieve his claims about what the victim said or believed ( McDonald walked away from the bed then Evans let himself in and approached the bed unannounced, so the victim may not even have realised another man was there given her condition especially if evans didn’t speak to her as he claimed) especially as they gave conflicting evidence when asked about consent.

    Four judges have explained that the different verdicts were not inconsistant and explained that the issue of capacity and drunken consent being consent had been made clear to the jury. But still people say the judges are incorrect based on nothing more than a man who stole a key to a womans room says they are wrong.

  21. It’s shocking how poor the attitudes to rape are by those claiming Evans was wrongly convicted. We have one supporter openly calling for the murder of a woman who started a petition, claims that if a woman is raped and it turns out she drank alcohol then she is not actually a victim, claims that if a person drank alcohol then it should be legal to have sex with them even if you don’t have any reasonable belief they consented, that Evans was only guilty of sexual misconduct and its wrong to label him a rapist just because he knowingly had non consensual sex with someone who’s room he broke into, and its a grey area! I can only presume Isis have taken over the board which is ironic considering Evans and his family have referred to people who sign petitions against him as extremists, jihadists and nazis.

    It’s also telling that every single person who thinks he was wrongly convicted has no idea about the facts of the case or the sexual offences act. But make it plain they have swallowed every lie Evans website promotes.

    As for rape charities not being bothered by reasonable belief, charities. Dedicate a lot of time to promoting what is and is not a reasonable belief.

  22. I wholeheartedly endorse the comment of one of the contributors that in this area the law needs to be far more finely nuanced. That it is not so will almost inevitably lead to capricious and inconsistent verdicts. This particular case is essentially full of uncertainty and doubt – the benefit of which should have been extended to Evans.

    Like the aforementioned contributor, I find it offensive that Evans now bears the odious tag of ‘rapist’. What he did was certainly sordid and opportunistic (as I believe he himself would now admit); but it is hardly as bad as the conduct of someone who sets out with clear predatory intent and uses gross violence to secure his end. Of course, if everyone guilty of sexual exploitation were committed to prison, our jails would be very full indeed, even if they were many times more capacious than they are now.

    Unfortunately, the need to make these finer discriminations is not even hinted at in the popular press, which – alas – has an interest in stirring up strife and promoting witch hunts of the kind that has been directed against Ched Evans. Reading and contributing to this discussion has brought me one crumb of comfort. Even if the clever men at Oxford do not know ‘all that there is to be knowed’, at least there are some among them who are capable of engaging in vigorous and rational debate. Perhaps there is hope for the future after all.

    The Irish lawyer Stuart Gilhooly (Solicitor to the Irish PFA) has expressed the view that this case would never have come to court in Ireland. I have no doubt that the Crown Prosecution Service is under great pressure to bring such cases to trial. This target-driven culture may give rise to unwise or even corrupt decisions. See my little book, THE PROSECUTOR UNMASK’D (2014), a copy of which was deposited in the Bodleian.

  23. ‘Evans admitted obtaining access to the room by deception with the intention of having sex with the woman in the room, he admits arranging for her to be filmed without her consent, he admits watching her have sex without her consent, and admits helping his brother and friends watch her without her consent. He also admitted hiding from staff, and leaving by a fire escape after the staff tried to check on the girl’.I know that Evans deceptively obtained the room key and left by the fire escape but ‘arranging’ for her to be filmed? ‘Helping’ his brother and friends watch her? Where did you get this from- I’m not saying you made it up but would like to see your source.Even so none of the above prove he did’nt get consent, as again, there were no witnesses to the contrary.

    Its quite clear why Evans was convicted, the judge said so in his sentencing, I quote: “…. [the complainant] was in no position to form a capacity to consent to sexual intercourse, and you, when you arrived, must have realised that.”
    He did’nt say ‘you did not obtain consent’, he said that she was in no position to a form a capacity to consent to sexual intercourse, so in other words any consent or implied consent he may have gained was null and void because she did not have capacity to consent.I suppose in the same way that gaining consent from an under age girl (we know to be underage) is no defence against statutory rape.Now as I have asked before, how can McDonald argue that he was unaware that the girl was in no position to consent given that he had just spent 15 minutes in the taxi with her? Reasonable doubt does’nt come into it its a question of logic.

    I am not trying to be difficult or dogmatic and if you can show me where I am wrong I won’t mind being corrected.

  24. I feel for his victim. Otherwise, who cares. He did the crime and the time. Now he has to face society. Some people don’t want to employ/ train and work in a team with/ have their season ticket money used to fund the wages of/ have their children near, a rapist. In reality, given the introduction of cheerleaders, and the long standing tradition of mascots, he wouldn’t meet the DBS criteria to get a job.
    I think we need to step back and get some perspective. Rape is a terrible crime.

  25. Martin
    You find it odious that a man who had non consensual sex with a person knowing that the victim did not consent is now considered a rapist. All thast means is you find the fact that non consensual sex is rape is odious. Evans wasn’t prosecuted for using violence cand the fact he did not inflict physical injuries was taken into account when sentencing. But rape is not kidnapping someone or beating them up, its having non consensual sex with someone you know doesn’t consent. Don’t try to change the definition of rape as if its not a big deal if you have sex with someone without their consent. Your posteuring is embarrassing as it makes it clear you know nothing about the Evans case, have no grasp about what rape is and have sexual ethics that belong in Isis. As for your self published book, you really should be embarrassed.

    Mark

    By definition he was found not to have obtained consent as that is one of the three prongs of rape. If the jury believed he obtained consent or reasonably believed he had obtained consent then they would have had to find him not guilty. So the wording the judge used does not change that. The jury were also told that drunken consent was still consent, and yes that exact wording was not used but the appeal judges made it clear that the concept was explained thoroughly to the jury. The fact the victim had no capacity to consent proves he did not obtain consent. Just as a judge does not have to refer to someone who is convicted of murder as having intentionally killed someone or been reckless as to whether their actions would kill therm to realise that a murder conviction means by definition this is what happened.

    As for McDonald, his verdict just proves the jury took a very leniant view rather than it being a bias jury but whilst McDonald going to the hotel room with her can be stretched to reasonable doubt stealing the key to her room as Evans did leaves no room for doubt. It may be that others would have convicted McDonald but the verdicts are not inconsistant as Evans was judged by his own behaviour not that of McDonald. My personal opinion is that going to a hotel room with a man is not enough for reasonable belief if the victim is virtually out of it, but you can see that plenty of people do think that is implied consent whatever the circumstances.

    The part about Evans getting his friend to film the girl and watch her was in his statement and in all the media. McDonald closed the curtains when he discovered what was happening which may have been another reason the jury were prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt, his behaviour was markedly different to Evans.

    The case of McDonald was borderline, but Evans was very clear cut. Its fairly simple, if you don’t want to find yourself on trial for rape don’t break into someone’s room and then try to claim that by complete coincidence the person in the room was happy to have sex with you.

  26. ‘whilst McDonald going to the hotel room with her can be stretched to reasonable doubt’ – reasonable doubt of what? There can be no reasonable doubt that McDonald knew the girl’s state because he had spent a considerable of time with her! Its a bit like McDonald using the defence in an under age sex case that he had reasonable belief that the 14 year old (whose age he knew) consented.She can’t consent she’s 14! This girl can’t consent she’s too drunk …

    You keep talking about Evans being uninvited into the bedroom but that has no bearing on the guilty verdict, because as the judge made clear in his sentencing remarks Evans was convicted because she was incapable of consent (not because he entered the room without permission).If he had walked through an open door he still would have been guilty of rape because that would’nt have changed her drunken state.Nor has the guys trying to film the sex from outside a bearing on whether Evans gained consent.The only thing these happenings show is that the night was a pretty sordid one, not whether a rape occurred.This case is all about capacity or lack of it.

  27. He was convicted based on the fact she did not consent and he had no reasonably belief she consented. If you cannot grasp that, you cannot grasp the law on rape. No can you have understood the judges reports because the judges made it very clear he had no reasonable belief she consented. That is the law, that is why the jury found she did not consent to either man but only one was convicted. Because only one was found beyond reasonable doubt to have had no reasonable belief she consented. The jury was presented with all the evidence which included how Evans gained access to her room. If he had broken into her house then raped her the fact he broke in would be used as evidence too. The jury wouldn’t be told to ignore the fact that he stole a key to get in without her consent.
    The jury looks at every single piece of evidence together and in context including the fact Evans gave contradictory statements regarding how he got consent.
    The jury were not convinced that there was any doubt that when Evans broke into her room and found her incapable of sex he reasonably believed that she consented. They found there was some doubt that McDonald didn’t reasonably believe because of his different actions.

  28. Yes but the drunkenness was a fundamental part of the reason they found she did’nt consent.Without the intoxication there was no rape conviction.There is simply no way round this- the judge made it clear in his sentencing remarks that that was why that consent could not be given to Evans.

    Regarding the Appeal Court ruling it is my understanding that without compelling new evidence or a procedural error such as a misdirected jury they will not overturn a jury decision even if that decision seems perverse.

  29. Mark

    You just don’t seem to grasp the case or the law. That is why it seems wrong to you.

    What matters is that she didn’t consent, and Evans knew this. It is known she didn’t consent because she was physically incapable of consenting because she was not fully conscious. The reason she was not fully conscious was because of alcohol, but if it had been for some other reason that wouldn’t have changed the fact she couldn’t consent. Even of she had been fully conscious and sober there is no reason for you to presume she would have consented to sex with a man who burst into her room. This was not a case or drunken consent, but a case of no consent.

    The jury could come to the conclusion that it was beyond doubt he didn’t believe she consented by his actions, contradictory statements and witness statements.

    I really am at a loss as to how you cannot grasp the law or the appeal judgement which explained in detail why the different verdicts were not perverse. Evasns actions made it beyond doubt he did not believe she cobsednted, McDonald’s actions provided some doubt.

  30. ‘Even of she had been fully conscious and sober there is no reason for you to presume she would have consented to sex with a man who burst into her room. This was not a case or drunken consent, but a case of no consent’.

    To convict some one of rape you have to prove, beyond reasonable doubt, that that there was no consent and that the accused could not reasonably believe there was.In the scenario above if the woman consumed no alcohol we might reasonably ask why she remembered nothing! On the other hand if she remembered not consenting then the jury have to consider whose testimony they believe.In this case factors such as Evans’ dishonest gaining of the key may be a factor against him.However, in the real Evans case the prosecution have a big handicap in that the woman cannot testify against Evans because she did’nt (or says she did’nt) remember anything! This means that when Evans says he gained consent you cannot contradict it.You may on the basis of his other activities suspect he’s lying but you cannot prove it beyond reasonable doubt because there is no alternative witness testimony (remember there is no independent witnesses in the room) to contradict this.The prosecution know this which is why they have to go down the non-capacity route and her state of intoxication becomes the crux.It now does’nt matter if she did consent because she was unfit to do so anyway.

    This case differs from the the vast majority of rape cases in that there is no victim available to say she did not consent.Its hard enough to get a conviction when the victim is able to say she was raped let alone when she can’t remember! I hope I have explained my thoughts clearly.

  31. The reason the prosecution went down the non capacity route is because the police handed them a case where they believed a woman was incapacitated yet a man had sex with her.

    It does matter if she consented because drunken consent is consent. But the jury agreed with the prosecution that she was incapable of giving consent. And therefore didn’t consent. In this way the case was easier than others because the prosecution just had to prove she was incapable.

    McDonald and Evans were in the room and contradicted each other when they were asked how Evans got consent.

  32. What happened with ched evans happens every Friday and Saturday night, in every town and city in England,Scotland, and Wales.

    R.Smith

  33. R smith
    Men breaking into strangers hotel rooms and having sex with whichever semi conscious woman they find in the room happens every Friday and Saturday does it?

  34. Yes but importantly they both agreed consent had been given.Apparently,they said, the woman also asked Evans to ‘lick her out’.and ‘f*** me harder’ both pretty evidential of implied consent! You may not believe this happened, that is your right, but the fact is that there were no witnesses to contradict this.There is no way a jury is going to find defendants guilty ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ just on this, that would simply be guessing.There would be no conviction without the intoxication- it is intrinsic to the case.The problem I have (and a lot of other people) have is that the level of intoxication here is much less in this case than other similar cases (such as Bree) where the defendants were found not guilty.I have no idea where you get the idea she was semi-conscious from; the last available physical evidence of her state was the hotel CCTV- it clearly shows her with decent motor control (picking up pizza one-handed etc.), certainly not semi-conscious anyway.After that neither we or the jury or anyone else (except Evans and McDonald) know what her state was because there were no other witnesses in the hotel room (which incidentally Evans had booked and paid for and so may have felt he had a right to enter- deceptive key acquisition withstanding ).The question was not whether Evans and McDonald behaved like cads (they certainly did’nt cover themselves in glory) that night but whether they were guilty of rape, two very different things.

  35. Evans was guilty of rape, he was convicted of rape, four judges found the verdict was safe, not perverse and consistant with the law and evidence. One of those judges was the lord justice.

    The fact they both said she consented had to be taken in the context that they gave entirely different versions so either one is lying or has a memory of the evening that is unreliable. One thing the jury were certain of is that the victim was incapacitated to such an extent she was rendered incapable of consent.

    Evans website is his website not evidence whatever it might claim. It has not been verified by anyone but the people who set the site up. It proves nothing either way.

  36. Well you are certainly correct Evans was convicted for rape; it is an undeniable fact.But you can’t blame us for wondering exactly how.That the CA did’nt overturn the decision is less of a mystery- they don’t overturn jury verdicts unless compelling new evidence or some great procedural error.I await with interest if the new evidence they seem to have found will sway the CCRC Evans’ way.Re the CCTV evidence on Evans’ website- are you saying it was fabricated?Because if you know it was you should inform the authorities immediately.If not, it shows what it shows whether that’s in Evans’ favour or not.That some people don’t like what it shows is neither here nor there.

  37. As for the video, it has not been verified so no one knows who or what it shows. If it is the real CCTV footage then there is the possibility they could be prosecuted for contempt due to possible victim identification and/ or the handling of evidence. They could also face prosecution for breaking the data protection act due to the way they have used the hotels CCTV images and put them in the public domain. The prosecution service are investigating it.

    The judges who refused leave to appeal went through every point you have raised here and carefully explained why this did not mean the verdict was unsafe or inconsistent. So its not a case that they simply refused leave because there was no new evidence or a major procedural error. They looked at every point his lawyers raised and pointed out the misconceptions of each one. You, like Evans, just seem unable to grasp this.

    As for new evidence, when Evans lawyers claimed they had found new evidence previously the judges pointed out it supported the prosecution and contradicted the defence. If the new evidence turns out to be the tweets, they are going to have a hard job proving they are real, proving they were written by the victim, proving it means she lied ( which given evans defence put forward evidence to the appeal that she told the truth when she said she couldn’t remember is going to be hard) even though she never accused him, and that it would have in any way changed the verdict. Its extremely unlikely those tweets would be considered evidence that the victim could remember what happened but told police she had no memory in the hope they would conclude she was raped and she could later receive compensation from the criminal injuries board. Its more likely that they will take the view that they are not genuine or that they represent a young rape victim planning what to do with her compensation which was her right. For all anyone knows she was referring to a lottery ticket she had. There has been no suggestion she tried to blackmail evans. However as her testimony was I relevant to the verdict as she could not say what happened either way, its unlikely anything related to her motives would have swayed a jury.

  38. If a woman gets drunk and gets behind the wheel of a car and kills someone, she is held accountable for her actions.

    However, if a woman gets drunk and consents to sex with a man, she isn’t responsible for her actions, her consent is invalid and a man’s life can be left in tatters. The reason? Because we live in a society that believes that women are victims and men are perpetrators, end of story. We live in a society that is so desperate to protect women at all costs that we are prepared to ruin the life of an innocent man in order to do so.

    There is no evidence that she was unconscious when Evans had sex with her. There Is no evidence other than her word that she does n it remember the events of the night. Even if she actually doesn’t remember the events of that night, it doesn’t mean she wasn’t consenting on the night.

    Evans might be a jerk and he may have behaved in bad taste, but that does not make him a criminal.

  39. I don’t think there are any serious doubts that the footage is real.I can understand why people not sympathetic to Evans’ cause want it taken down though.If your case is predicated on the idea that the female was unconscious or semi-conscious at the time of sex and video footage taken shortly before that time clearly shows she was not then I would say that it is pretty damaging to your case that she lacked consensual capability.

    Regarding the tweets I would say they were genuine (people abroad not subject to our contempt laws claim to have verified them) but prove little because she still could have been raped and posted them.

    I agree with the poster above that men and women should equally take responsibilty for their actions when drunk.Evans is not allowed (quite rightly) to use intoxication as an excuse for his actions so neither should the female.It is like wanting the positive effects of alcohol such as the loss of inhibitions without accepting the negatives such as waking up in a hotel room wondering how you got there.

    Look, we are not going to agree on this case, particularly why the CA rejected his appeal (I have carefully read their judgement) and their view was that they were satisfied that the trial was conducted fairly, so they are not going to change it.But I will say that I respect the fact that you hav’nt recoursed to name calling, using such tired terms as ‘rape denier’ or ‘misogynist’ but have instead attempted to engage with the issues.Thanks for that.

    I share the common view that rape is a terrible crime which is why we have to be so careful that those we convict of rape really are guilty of rape.

  40. Alexander,
    You seem woefully ill informed about this case and rape law in general.
    Drunken consent is still consent and the judge explained this to the jury. The jury found she did not consent due to incapacitation. The jury were also informed that lack of memory did not mean she was unable to consent at the time. It was explained to Evans by the judges who refused his appeal that whether or not she had memory loss did not influence the verdict. Besides which Evans own legal team presented evidence to the judges when they requested an appeal that the victim had previously suffered memory loss before.

    The law also means that non consensual sex is not rape. It requires that the man has no reasonable berluef that the victim consented. The fact McDonald was given the benefit of the doubt shows that this was not a man hating jury determined to find them guilty. In the end the conviction will come down to the man’s actions.

    The fact of the matter is men are three hundred more likely to be raped by a man ( by definition only men can be rapists, which is something I disagree with) than falsely accused of rape. So if I had a teenage son who liked to go out and get drunk on his nights out I would be hoping that other men realised that if he passed out in a spare room at a house party or crashed at someone elses place its not OK to have sex with him and get other men to film it.

    Mark

    Look at the comments above for why women are expected to take responsibility whilst drunk. However if someone passes out or is semi conscious for whatever reason they are not responsible for someone else’s actions against them.

    If the judges felt the verdict was perverse or lacking in evidence they could have granted leave for appeal under the laws. But they didnt and they have explained why every single worry you have did not mean the verdict was perverse.

    As for the website, if the video is genuine Evans could be in a whole world of trouble. As for whether it means she was sober enough to be aware of what was happening it doesnt. This shows one tiny segment of the evening, the jury heard from the taxi driver, hotel staff and saw much more CCTV and came to the conclusion she was out of it. Evans has chosen not to include this other evidence.

    More damaging for Evans is the fact that despite whining that the petition is extremist mob rule he is asking the same public to judge the victim themselves based only on the evidence he presents to them. Given he knows his family illegally named her and she has had threats from his supporters what is he trying to achieve if not mob rule trying to undermine the jury and five judges. The website is for public consumption not the review board. If he does get an appeal the prosecution will use this and the fact he and his family have referred to the petition as an act of a Nazi and an act of jihaid. He has even compared himself to the victims of the paris attacks.Thinking petitioning against him is an act of jihaid does not present him as a man who has a reasonable attitude to females. His entire campaign has been a disaster for him from start to finish, I can’t help thinking Karl Massey actually hates his guts.

  41. Mark,

    Regarding the tweets, the family claim that they were handed them by someone who verified them but no proof shown. If someone publishes something that is viewable here then it is contempt regardless of where they are based. But like you say they prove nothing, a rape victim has every right to bleed her rapist dry.

    I just wanted to say that the video on his site is not supportive of him at all. It actually has had something edited out if you look carefully both at the timer and at the film itself. Why the need to cut something out? You can also see she is not walking in a straight line and has problems picking up the pizza. She has to squat down and steady herself to do it. She is also walking in wedges which are easy to walk in due to the large surface area. That video when examined carefully is consistant with her being extremely drunk and consistent with her being more aware of her pizza than the man she is with. She also doesn’t link arms with him so much as cling to him for physical support at one point. Their description of the video is very misleading and the fact something has been removed from it is questionable.

  42. Fedup- if I were going to send a man down for rape on the basis of , that beyond reasonable doubt, the woman was too incapacited to consent to sex, because she is unconscious or semi-conscious, I would expect to see the woman unable to walk into the hotel unaided.The video we see on that site is of good quality and 2 minutes 7 seconds long (not a few seconds of grainy footage).What we hav’nt seen does not disclude what we have seen which is a woman walking without help or obvious distress.Look at the video again.Remember, beyond reasonable doubt fedup.The taxi man and the receptionist’s account that she was drunk do not replace the evidence of our eyes in my opinion.The CCTV footage taken in the kebab shop was over an hour earlier and so we might reasonably expect some sobering up by the time of sex and so is less evidential (in the same way we would’nt take an alcohol breath reading an hour before we got in the car).After the hotel CCTV footage there is no more evidence available apart from the receptionist listening at the door, which tells us little about the woman’s state.

    Now the above is just a personal view if I were a member of that jury.I suspect you would reach a different conclusion.That’s fine.The sentence has been reached and Evans has done his time so these musings are too late for him.But my worry is that in future rape cases there is no objective test of ‘capacity to consent’.In drink driving the measure is objective and fair for all – 80mg alcohol per 100ml blood, we all know what is.So you know if you are breathalysed you know where you stand.It is different however with rape.This means that rape verdicts will invariably differ between juries because people all have different ideas of capacity.This means that a guilty verdict in Bristol may be a not guilty in Birmingham.The fact that me and you can’t agree (both potential jurors) about capacity perfectly illustrates this.What we want are fair and consistent verdicts and no playing Russian roulette with a man’s life.

  43. You forget that McDonald an eye witness admits that her intoxication levels were so great that he was concerned for her safety and he asked staff to keep an eye on her. Does that sound like a fully conscious just tipsy woman. Also listen to their statements, their accounts about what happened once Evans entered the room don’t come across like they were with a woman who was engaged with her surroundings. They gave different versions of how she consented, very different versions, but not only that but they tell a story where the only verbal interaction is about consent. According to them she had no reaction to McDonald finding out they were being watched and filmed, a teenage girl naked and having sex with a man finds out two men are watching from outside and she gave no reaction according to the eye witnesses! Not even an acknowledgement despite McDonalnd saying that is why he had to get out of bed. A strange man lets himself into the room unannounced and she gave no reaction whatsoever, does that sound like someone who knew what was happening. McDonald left and she gave no reaction, Evans left and gave no reaction. That’s according to McDonald and Evans. A jury hearing that on top of video evidence that shows she was clearly hammered, and not fully aware as she entered the hotel judging by the way she was interacting with mcdonald are going to come to the conclusion she was not fully aware. Neither of them give an account of a woman who is fully aware when describing the night. That McDonald got a not guilty verdict shows how far the jury were prepared to give the benefit of the doubt when it came to the belief of consent.

    You can’t say that capacity to consent should be a measured amount. Some people can pass out after a couple of drinks other can drink their own weight and be fine.

    The Evans verdict is not inconsistant.

  44. I am not saying a specific blood level should be interested as agree people are affected differently (but you could use that argument for driving as well of course).I was thinking more of a checklist of behaviours we would expect to see in a person who was capable of consenting, maybe a scoring -type system which is used more widely in the medical world for diagnosing other conditions.I get the same impression from you as from others in the Evans sceptic camp i.e. a belief that its a black and white issue, no shades of grey.I don’t share that view and neither apparently did the judge in his summing up:

    “There are two ways in which drink and/or drugs can affect an individual who is intoxicated. First, it can remove inhibitions. A person may do things when intoxicated which she would not do, or be less likely to do if sober. Secondly, she may consume so much alcohol and/or drugs that it affects her state of awareness. So you need to reach a conclusion upon what was the complainant’s state of intoxication, such as you may find it to be. Was she just disinhibited, or had what she had taken removed her capacity to exercise a choice?”

    He went on to explain: “A woman clearly does not have the capacity to make a choice if she is completely unconscious through the effects of drink and drugs, but there are various stages of consciousness, from being wide awake to dim awareness of reality. In a state of dim and drunken awareness you may, or may not, be in a condition to make choices. So you will need to consider the evidence of the complainant’s state and decide these two questions: was she in a condition in which she was capable of making any choice one way or another? If you are sure that she was not, then she did not consent. If, on the other hand, you conclude that she chose to agree to sexual intercourse, or may have done, then you must find the defendants not guilty.”

    There is a real sense that the issue here is not a black and white one.However, going on the judge’s guidance I would say that the woman made plenty of choices that night, just not very good ones.The view that the woman was incapacitated was even contradicted by the woman herself; telling police she “felt tipsy but not out of control”!

    I would say its reasonable to say that a jury need some help to arrive at consistent decisions because as I have already said others have walked free when the accuser has been more inebriated.

    Your other points pertaining to events in the room, as you have consistently done, have a potent anti Evans spin on them (Evans ‘got’ his friends to take pictures (?), he ‘attacked’ the woman (where’s the evidence, the CA clearly say there was no violence),’breaking’ into the room (actually he let himself into the room he had booked with a key) etc. etc.A much more neutral account/precis is available at:https://www.crimeline.info/case/r-v-ched-evans-chedwyn-evans.

  45. ‘You can’t say that capacity to consent should be a measured amount. Some people can pass out after a couple of drinks other can drink their own weight and be fine.’
    Then whats the point of having a drink drive limit if everyone reacts to alcohol differently then? By your logic, t should be scrapped and people should be charged/prosecuted for drink driving on the dubious suspicion/opinion of a policeman. Idiot.

  46. Evans obtained that key by deception, that count as breaking in, whether he paid for the room or not makes no difference. He had no legal right to be there. McDonald and Evans both admit that the woman and mcdonald had no idea evans was going to do that.

    He raped a woman, that is he sexually attacked her.

    But the events in the room I mentioned are damning. McDonald realised Evans friends were watching them and he got up and closed the curtains. But the girl gave no reaction whatsoever. A naked teenage girl who realised two strangers were spying on her as she was naked and having sex gave not an iota of an acknowledgement. The same goes for when Evans let himself in. A man suddenly appears next to her as she is naked in bed with no warning and she gave no reaction not even a short cry of shock. That is according to evans and McDonald. The fact they both claim she gave no reaction or any indication of being aware of these two things occurring and the fact they gave contradictory evidence regarding her consent to Evans would have been considered by the jury.

  47. Mark Johnson: Im of the opinion you are giving a very accurate, unbiased and rational analysis of the rape conviction of Ched Evans. The problem you have is that you are not going to have a rational debate with someone like fedup, who quite clearly has no intention of altering their obviously predisposed attitude towards the Evans case that nothing in the world would ever change. Fedup keeps stating that the victim was ‘conscious or semi-conscious’ but despite numerous requests cannot or will not provide any sources for these assertions. Fedup cannot grasp that this is a fundamental point that lead to the conviction of Evans. Fedups attitude is consistent with many others who would not even consider the fact that a miscarriage of justice has occurred and scorns anyone who dares question the validity of the British Justice System with its 100% safe conviction rate.

  48. “she gave no reaction not even a short cry of shock. That is according to evans and McDonald.”

    Where did you read this? or are you just inferring it from the fact that neither of them mention a reaction?

  49. Bart,
    Drink driving is different because we cannot allow people to judge for themselves if they are OK to drive as they could kill someone if they get it wrong and prosecution went revive the victim. But a jury has to judge the individual case presented to them so they are in a position of being able to decide for themselves if this particular person was sober enough to consent. So an arbitrary limit would be pointless as some people could go past it and be able to consent and others could go no where near it and be incapacitated. It could just as easily give incorrect guilty verdicts as anything.

    But can I just say what an eloquent argument you made.

  50. The facts of the matter are ,by her own admission,the girl told police
    ‘I was Tipsy but not of of control’
    Well in my book that admits your ARE in control and when you ARE in control you know fine well what you are doing.
    The girl also admitted she regularly drank a lot MORE than she did that evening
    Her friends said she wasnt that drunk.
    Evans acted like a jerk sure,but she knew the score that night for sure.
    She’s played the dummy card and got a guy sent down
    And if HE ACTUALLY PAID for the room i cant see his crime for actually being there at some point.
    There is no law about watching people have sex if its on view either.
    Come’on if you cant work it out by now
    doh!!!!!

  51. Fedup statements are pure conjecture they are totally devoid of any facts or any sources to support the assertions they make. The fact of the matter is, as others have clearly outlined above, the conviction could be regarded as unsafe for numerous reasons and all fedup can counter with is complete nonsense.

  52. The sadness in this case is that two lives have been ruined because of it; Evans and the girl involved probably would have put it down to experience by now without the heavy hand of the law involved.I can quite believe that the girl remembered little because on nights of drinking I am always amazed by the amnesia of some of my friends! I think a lot of the blame has to go on the police who ramped it up to a rape investigation so quickly and could’nt exercise some common sense once it had been established that her intoxication was self-administered and they saw she had willingly entered the hotel, probably under political pressure to get more rape convictions.One result about this case though, is that it has got people talking about alcohol and consensual capacity which may useful in future cases.

  53. Fedup you really do need to read statements thoroughly before responding, which is part of the reason why I called you an idiot previously. I didn’t say people should judge for themselves, I said what you suggested is similar to letting policeman decide on what is ‘too drunk’ by removing a set limit. With the lack of evidence/independent witnesses as described in aforementioned posts, this is akin to what has happened in the Evans case.

  54. Dave hunter,

    The girl said the last thing she remembered was feeling tipsy. She did not say she felt tipsy in the room. She became seperated from her friends and CCTV clearly shows she was very very drunk as the taxi driver confirmed and which McDonald confirmed when he told police he had actually asked hotel staff to keep an eye on the girl due to her intoxication. Evans own legal team presented evidence to the appeal judges that the woman was telling the truth about memory loss! McDonald in his statement made it clear the girl showed no reaction when he found out there were being spied on or when Evans walked in.

    It does not matter who paid for the room. The girl was taken there by another man, Evans did not have the right to obtain the key by deception and let himself in. In the same way he wouldn’t have the right to walk into a house guests room. But the fact he felt the need to lie is certainly something that counted against him. Your claim that paying for it entitled him is damning against him. McDonald did not tell the woman who paid for the room, and Evans and McDonald claimed evans did not tell McDonald he intended to go to the room. So Evans paying for the room, then using it as an excuse to go in when he found out a girl was there would be highly predatory.

    It is illegal to watch sex if you are spying into a private room on private property, its also illegal to film it unless you have consent. If you have obtained a key by deception it is illegal to let yourself in the room and watch a woman have sex. Paying for the room does not entitle you to do so.
    bart
    My statements are correct. You have not countered them with anything but nastiness, which seems to be the core of Evans campaign.

  55. I agree with Mark on this one. It definitely seems less like the case of “R vs Ched Evans” and more like “The Law vs Ched Evans”.

    While you can hardly blame the woman in this case, I do think, and have read somewhere (sorry cant find the article now to link) that reports of rape have dramatically increased since Ched’s release. Whilst this is great if they are all valid claims but I strongly believe the increase will be largely due “buyer’s remorse”

  56. Mark
    It does not matter if the girl chose to become intoxicated it matters that’s she did not choose to have sex with a man who lye himself into her room. She went back to the hotel with McDonald not Evans. If the girl had been a diabetic and not followed her diet and become semi conscious would the fact she chose not to follow the diet be taken as consent to sex with any random man who wandered into her room? Or is alcohol different because she broke some secret moral code? If your son got drunk and passed out is he fair game?

    Evans chose to ruin his own life, he and his supported including family members chose to ruin the victims life. The police found that a man had had sex with a woman who did not consent so they charged him and the cps prosecuted. The jury got all the evidence not just the cherry picked stuff from Evans site which has edited some evidence too including the wording of McDonald’s text and part of the hotel CCTV. The jury convicted him and four judges later upheld it.

    Jimmy
    Read my above comments as they explain why a man cannot be found guilty of rape even if the jury finds that the woman did not consent. As long as the prosecution cannot prove beyond reasonable doubt he didn’t believe she consented he is fine.

  57. Fedup, you say I counter with ‘nastiness’ when you frivolously label anyone who disagrees with your version of events as ‘having no grasp of the Law’ and ‘having a poor attitude towards rape’ which I find extremely insulting. People are merely debating the facts surrounding the Evans case in order to ascertain whether his conviction may or may not have been unsafe, that has absolutely nothing to do with anyone’s attitude towards rape.
    If your statements are correct, why can’t you provide sources when requested? And another thing, you should stop generalising and offending people who suggest the Evans conviction maybe unsafe i.e. ‘It’s also telling that every single person who thinks he was wrongly convicted has no idea about the facts of the case or the sexual offences act. But make it plain they have swallowed every lie Evans website promotes.’
    This statement alone is very telling of what sort of person you are and reinforces my claim that you are in fact an idiot.

  58. Bart

    The sources are the court reports, Evans own website and the sexual offences act.

    You have been nasty and name calling. So far every person on here who has questioned the conviction has made it clear they don’t know the case or the law. But there have been suggestions that the woman who started a petition against him be killed, that if a woman chooses to drink having sex with her when she doesn’t consent shouldn’t be considered rape etc. I am just surprised no one has suggested that unless you drag someone off the street it’s not really rape if you have non consensual sex with them even if you don’t reasonably believe they consented. So yes those supporting him on here have shown poor attitudes to rape. Saying you think rape is awful is hollow if its qualified by a ” but it’s not really rape in my eyes”. A woman can be in bed in a hotel room and a complete stranger lets himself in with the intention of having sex with her and because she can’t remember what happened we should take the intruders word as gospel even though he contradicted the other witness and himself.

    But apparently I am an idiot because I understand the law and the case. I signed the petition too so according to Evans and his supporters that makes me an extremist nazi jihadist! If he does by some miracle get granted leave to appeal it’s going to be interesting when the prosecution ask him to explain why opposing him is an act of terrorism! His campaign has just handed the prosecution evidence of his unreasonable interpretation of women’s actions.

    Is the lord justice an idiot too?

  59. Fed up – your understanding of the law is flawed. You previously talked of three prongs to secure a prosecution. In fact, there are two prongs that are necessary but not sufficient for the prosecution to prove a case of rape. Firstly, you have to demonstrate that a penetrative sexual act has occurred. Secondly, you have to demonstrate that the act occurred without the valid consent of the complainant. In a situation such as in the Evans and McDonald case a legal consent is only adjudged to have been given if the complainant’s capacity to consent has not been significantly impaired. So, in this case the prosecution will have had to demonstrate both that a penetrative sexual act had occurred (which was straightforward as both defendants freely admitted to having sex – and in fact Evans couldn’t have been convicted of rape without this willing admission), and that the complainant was too drunk to give a valid legal consent. The conviction of Evans indicates that the jury concluded that both of these necessary conditions were satisfied. However both men had available to them the defence (where, unusually, the onus is on the defence) that they had a reasonable belief that consent was given. Implicitly the jury decided that McDonald had a reasonable belief – hence his acquittal, but decided Evans did not, hence his conviction. So, in law, the apparently contradictory verdicts are explicable. Whether the conclusions were valid ones is another matter entirely. And whether the sanction that was applied to Evans was a proportionate one is another matter again.

    I’m afraid that a lot of your arguments fed up are perfect illustrations of many of the flawed arguments that have been put forward both in the press and on forums. In particular, you, like many others, conflate moral arguments with legal ones. So, watching two people having sex is sordid, but not a crime, as long as those being watched consent. You also conflate the (potentially) criminal acts of others with Evans’ behaviour. So, the potentially criminal act of filming at the window – which is clearly the responsibility of those doing the filming – in your mind becomes the responsibility of Evans – without providing any evidence that he had any influence over the decision to film. At its worst the act of filming would have been deemed a minor act of voyerism. The fact that no discernible footage was obtained, and the fact that neither of the men outside were prosecuted indicates that there was no case to answer, for them let alone Evans. And yet you conflate the actions of the men outside with an act of rape – two entirely separate things. You also conflate minor transgressions by Evans of debatable legality with the act of rape. Obtaining a key by deception is at the very worst a minor offence, which could have been tried on its own merits. Evans faced no charges on this count, so I assume he was deemed not to have committed an offence.

    Another thing you have a habit of doing is using hyperbole, such as saying that Evans “burst” into the room – where there is no evidence to suggest he did anything other than enter the room in a normal way. You also have a very cavalier approach to truthfulness, for instance asserting that the complainant/victim was semi-conscious when there is no evidence at all to support such a contention. On top of this, where there are gaps in the evidence, you generously oblige by filling in the missing details – such as the complainant/victims’s experience in the bedroom. All of this is designed to give the impression that the case against Evans was far stronger than it really was. In fact, all you succeed in doing is undermining your position, by demonstrating a lack of objectivity and fair-mindedness.

    The reason why the whole Evans affair creates so much heat and so little light is a consequence of the undoubted problem of there being so many people (mainly women, but men also) who haven’t received justice from the criminal justice system for sexual crimes committed against them. This inspires an understandably vitriolic and vengeful attitude to the small proportion of men who are convicted. Law driven by rage is never a good idea – and by upping the ante, especially in marginal cases such as the Evans one, the law of unintended consequences may well be coming into play. Harsher sentences will focus the minds of jurors – as they will be mindful of the devastating impact of a guilty verdict on the lives of the defendant as well as the devastating impact of the act of rape on the victim. I can see that juries might be tempted to be more generous to the accused in marginal cases where the judicial consequences are especially harsh in comparison with cases where the sanction is less severe.

    Proportionate and fair sentences for grey area offences, such as Evans’, would result in more convictions in my opinion, and more victims gaining some justice and closure. Another thing that needs to be seriously looked at is the use of restorative justice – whereby victims (if they so wish) get the opportunity to confront their assailants in a supportive environment. This would supplement the usual judicial procedures – and would typically apply in those cases where there is little prospect of conviction, or where that is the preference of the victim (not everyone, understandably, wants to go through the trauma of cross-examination). This could offer a measure of closure to the victim – and is much more victim-centric than the current system, which is very much perpetrator-centric.

  60. fedup
    Ive noticed anyone says anything you disagree with you try the cheap shot ,they are being nasty .
    You wont listen anyone’s view that theres no smoke without fire here
    It isnt a clear cut rape at all.
    If it were a labourer on a building site being accused then it would have not got to court.
    The girl was up for it and being in her own words ‘ tipsy but in control’ would have certainly been in fully aware of what was happening.
    Even people drunk of their tits just dont jump in cabs with strangers to go back to hotel rooms.
    You must have led a very sheltered life if you dont know this fact.
    there is also no crime in watching a sexual act take place in a private room.
    Your facts are heavily biased toward the victim ,are you related by any chance?

  61. Fedup
    1. You list a very sweeping set of sources but the point I was making is that you have failed to refer to any particular part of those resources when requested.
    2. I don’t think I have been nasty I have simply said you’re an idiot because you are generalising and insulting people for not agreeing with your opinion. You childishly attempt to call me nasty for pointing this out. Maybe I should not have called you an idiot so I apologise for that but I was very insulted by your prior insinuations.
    3. Who says everyone on here that has questioned the conviction does not know the case or the Law, and what qualifications do you hold that make you such an expert?
    4. You then go on to make completely ridiculous statements such as ‘that if a woman chooses to drink having sex with her when she doesn’t consent shouldn’t be considered rape etc. I am just surprised no one has suggested that unless you drag someone off the street it’s not really rape if you have non consensual sex with them even if you don’t reasonably believe they consented’. Please let me know who has suggested these statements? Or are they just more statements you have simply fabricated to support your completely nonsensical and paranoid view of ‘Ched Evans supporters’. I am not a Ched Evans supporter by the way, just someone not wishing to see a potential miscarriage of justice occur that has adverse implications for everyone concerned.
    5. No, I said you are an idiot for the aforementioned reasons, not because you rather conceitedly think you ‘understand the law and the case’.
    6. Again you attempt to make a huge generalisation about Evans ‘supporters’ when you ramble on about being a called an ‘extremist nazi jihadist’ by them. If it hadn’t already occurred to you, not everyone who supports Mr Evans has this view, and not everyone who questions his conviction is his supporter as you clearly infer. You consistently try to smear anyone who questions the conviction with the negative or extreme comments or point of view of a few people.
    6. No I don’t believe he is an idiot as he has not made ridiculous statements such as yours, but I do think he could be mistaken.

  62. And another thing

    No your understanding is flawed. Read the sexual offences act. Its a three pronged test.

    Stealing the key and getting his friend to watch and film it are evidence against him when it comes to the rape. Both demonstrate his intent. He wanted the key to get into the room to have sex with her, he wanted the act to be filmed. Hes admited this. Stealing a room key in order to have sex with a stranger in the room is very serious. He was not prosecuted because the cps normally go with the most serious charge. Stealing the key and watching her without consent would not have added to his sentence.

    Dave hunter
    Evans admits neither he nor his friend and brother obtained consent to watch and film the woman. Legally they needed her consent just as much as if they had crept into a garden and watched through the window.

    There is no evidence the girl was up for it with evans. Evans told police he had no contact with her prior to walking into the room and recieved no indication that she was up for it even though he went there with the intention of having sex with her. He gave a different version of how she gave consent to McDonalds version and both told police she didn’t react to finding out she was being watched and filmed by two strange men outside nor did she react when a stranger walked into the room. McDonald told police he asked staff to watch out for her as he was concerned due to her intoxication.

    Bart
    Evans and his family have used the terms Nazi, extremist and jihadist to describe the opposition to him. Its not a cheap shot. Its something that Evans is going to find used against him if he gets an appeal. As will the fact his website referred to a man who had named and trolled the victim of Evans, as a hero. Evans has issued statements via the site and appears to have it registered in his name.

    The statement about how people here have described rape is taken directly from the comments here. I suggest you read through them.

    I have the ability to read the comments here and compare them to the judges findings and the sexuasl offences act. That is what enables me to say those supporting evans here don’t know the law or the case.

    You were nasty by calling me an idiot. You were nasty, spiteful and childish.

    I am not going to argue this any more. Evans was convicted, four judges found it to be a safe verdict. Evans had sex with someone who did not consent and Evans had no reasonable belief she consented, he is therefore a rapist. As for whether he should play football, it all depends on whether anyone will sponsor a team that takes him on.

  63. Fedup.
    Again, as you have consistently demonstrated, you have made ridiculous statements without a shred of evidence. Please share the source which demonstrates Evans has called his detractors Nazis etc and also where the website you mentioned referred to the ‘troll’ as a hero. I have, seemingly unlike you, thoroughly read the comments and none describe rape in the way you have implied they do. Having the ability to read the Judges findings etc does not make you an expert on the law and this case as you have previously inferred, indeed you are merely expressing your unqualified opinion. I have already told you why I called you an idiot but you have obviously decided to ignore my explanation. No one is denying he has been found guilty of rape, rather some people have raised fundamental concerns as to the safeness of his conviction, to which you outrageously insinuate that they therefore have a bad attitude towards rape. Perhaps your name is ironically appropriate for how people feel trying to explain the obvious to you.

  64. There is no evidence the girl WASNT up for it the only evidence is that the girl WAS up for it,both Mcdonald and Evans stated this and the night porter heard 2 voices enjoying sex.
    if it were rape where was the opposing screaming in the hotel room.
    When people are tipsy they are capable of this .
    If theyd honestly raped this woman why would they clearly admit they had sex with her.
    They would both had said no comment if they had commited a crime .
    Its very obvious to normal street wise people what happened.

  65. I think fedup isn’t debating anymore, but we should take note of these points, which are consistently used in justifications for Evans’ conviction:

    1. ‘Stealing a room key in order to have sex with a stranger in the room is very serious.’
    It was his room that he’d booked. He made up a story to get a spare key. He wanted to go in and join in the fun. And get his mates to film it. Drunken high jinx. At the time he got the key he could NOT have known that the ‘bird’ who McDonald had ‘got’ was unable to consent. He didn’t know a thing about her. He just knew he wanted to go in the room and join in the sex. With his giggling mates taking film. All very ‘Inbetweeners’, pretty juvenile and perhaps offensive to sensitive people. But the way of the world to McDonald, Evans, the woman, and countless other people today.

    2. ‘Both told police she didn’t react to finding out she was being watched and filmed by two strange men outside nor did she react when a stranger walked into the room’.
    What does ‘didn’t react’ mean? Lay there comatose – or didn’t care? If she’d just been having energetic sex, she was possibly ‘shagged out’ (excuse the terminology) and enjoying the feeling so she didn’t mind. Remember that she went back voluntarily with McDonald so she very possibly enjoyed the sex. Then, depending on what her sexual appetite was like, she saw another hunky young man appear, requesting sexual activity with her, and she thinks – ‘yeah, why not’. I’ve known women that have done similar. Regrettable, late night drunken antics, for sure. But not rape.

    I am not saying the above is what happened. But is there any factual evidence that suggests my explanation is any LESS likely, than the melodramatic version given by fedup and her co-thinkers….that he broke into the room and attacked a defenseless woman?

  66. The truth is nobody can know what went on in the bedroom: it is pure guessing and speculation; nowhere near enough to convict a man ‘beyond reasonable doubt’.The dishonest gaining of the key and the filming outside may not be be pleasant but is not evidence of rape.This was why he was convicted on her ‘lacking capacity’.The judge makes this clear.The problem I have is that judging by the measure used by the jury most drunken sex would come under its umbrella thus potentially criminalising thousands of people.

  67. Mark Johnson
    I totally agree and my fear is that this verdict sets a dangerous precedent for the future. The argument the prosecution and fedup put forward that the victim was in a ‘semi conscious’ or ‘unconscious’ state is highly debatable in the absence of independent witnesses and the evidence available to support these assertions is weak at best. I realise that circumstantial evidence can be very persuasive in certain situations, but I firmly believe any reasonable person could not conclude the evidence in this instance is sufficient to warrant a conviction of such a serious crime.
    I believe the jury were aware of the intense and fundamentally biased media scrutiny surrounding the trial fuelled by amongst others radical feminist groups and therefore felt obliged to return a guilty verdict for at least one of the defendants to appease the mass hysteria.

  68. This particular part of the afore-mentioned article pretty much sums up the current legal position on rape cases where the complainant became intoxicated voluntarily:

    “The attitude towards complainants who have been drinking voluntarily at the time of the alleged offence, at present, seems to be ‘maybe they will be found to have the capacity to consent, maybe they won’t’.”

    What this has created is a situation that closely resembles Kafka’s “The Trial”. Defendants have no idea where they stand – and when convicted are still none the wiser as to what specific manifestation(s) of intoxication that they should have observed in the complainant to enable them to make the decision not to engage in sexual activity. Not only is this manifestly unjust, but is extremely poor from a crime prevention point of view. Unless, the intention is to dissuade men from having intercourse with any woman (or man) who is unremarkably drunk. Not only does the precedent of the Evans case put many men in peril of committing a very serious offence – with a hefty sanction and the very adverse tag of “convicted rapist” – but also implicitly significantly circumscribes the freedom of women and men to go out clubbing, getting drunk and then having sex at the end of the evening. Mary Whitehouse might approve but is this really the role of the state and the law? Should we have police officers stationed on the doors of nightclubs up and down the country, and, as people leave, decide who is and who is not legally entitled to have sex that evening? It’s not only men that would be unhappy with such a situation. Although this would be absurd, it would nevertheless be an entirely logical crime prevention measure given the manifest inadequacies of the law at this moment in time.

  69. FWIW I think that Fedup is the author of the article opposing Ched Evans’ return to football which you will find elsewhere on this website. You should see the fun and games I had trying to convince her (ok it may not be her, may even be a him) that much of that article was ‘false and I’ll informed’ as was put by a fellow respondent. I had to withdraw upon the mention of nazis, jihads and French policeman. My head was hurting too much. However yes, I agree, much conjecture and a smattering of hyperbole in fedup’s comments.

    Anyway, I believe that I am correct in saying that the current laws relating to consent and intoxication form part of the Criminal Justice and Sexual Offences acts of 2003 (?). If so here’s what Sir Christopher Rose, Lord Justice Rose, had to say about said legislation:-

    ” if a history of criminal legislation ever comes to be written it is unlikely that 2003 will be identified as a year of exemplary skill in the annals of parliamentary drafting”

    This verdict truly has set a dangerous precedent. Parents with sons should be concerned. I certainly am.

  70. 10 things this case reminded us:

    1.Just because people may sign a change.org petition it does’nt mean that they have bothered to learn/engage with the issues.Also known as people who ‘don’t want to listen to the end of sentences’.
    2.When juries make a decision they are difficult to overturn.
    3.Juries don’t have to justify their reasoning.
    4.Righteous emotion trumps reason in the media and social media.
    5.Politicians won’t stick their head above the parapet.
    6..People who do are quickly lambasted and called on to apologise (e.g Judy Finnegan).
    7.The rape law is a mess.
    8.People mix their personal distaste for ‘immorality’ with criminal acts.
    9.The law (pertaining to rape) holds that men are more responsible for their actions when drunk than women.
    10.We may no longer have witch trials or 1950’s style commie hearings but hysteria is alive and well in the 21st century.

  71. I agree with most of what has been said by recent contributors (Peter D, Bart, Mark Johnson, And another thing & Leigh Warhurst). I find Ched Evans’s conviction and his total demonization following his release from prison deeply worrying. I do not think he is a rapist any more than I am. While I disapprove of the way that he, his co-defendant, and the so-called victim behaved, such misconduct is inevitable in a culture where public drunkenness is commonplace and sexual promiscuity widely accepted. I believe Evans is the victim of a kind of pseudo-puritanism which seeks to make scapegoats of a few but lacks the will to impose personal responsibility on all.

    I fear, moreover, that the upper echelons of the CPS may well be infested with self-serving opportunists, hypocrites and downright liars. My reasons for this are set out in THE PROSECUTOR UNMASK’D [free copies for the five above-named people on application to Ismeron]. The book is a discussion of the decision to put on trial the actor Michael Le Vell, though the CPS knew that he must be innocent as the person who accused him of raping her was a virgin.

    The more finely nuanced legislation that at least one of the above contributors called for is unlikely to be forthcoming, as there will be no political will to enact it. Also, such a move would run counter to the agenda of radical feminists, the most ardent of whom are followers of Catherin MacKinnon (b.1946), who believes that ALL sexual activity between men and women is tantamount to rape. They want to conflate distinctions, not to refine them.

    Let us hope that poor Ched Evans is able to overturn his conviction and get his life and career back on track.

    J. Martin Stafford

  72. J.Martin Stafford
    Following from your above comments, It is also blatantly obvious that the current Laws pertaining to rape are ‘as clear as mud’ so the authorities can exercise a selective enforcement policy.

  73. J Martin Stafford
    While I agree that this agenda may well be driven by the well-focused efforts of a very vocal minority exerting a leverage beyond their numbers their attitude puzzles me.I have always believed that feminists believe a) women have as much right to initiate/enjoy sex (including casual sex) as men without moral censure and b) women can make their own decisions and know their own minds to the equal of men.The verdict in this case seems to run counter to this by suggesting a) that a woman can’t initiate/enjoy casual sex and thus are innocent victims b) a woman is less able to make willful decisions than a man when intoxicated in effect reducing her conceptual abilities to those of a minor: hardly empowering ideas! Surely any feminist worth her salt should be supporting the defence in this case …

  74. I notice that the Evans team have submitted ‘fresh evidence’ to the CCRC. Supposing against the odds, the Evans verdict is overturned, how will it be treated in the papers given that the vast majority of the media stance has been firmly in the anti-Evans camp (particularly left-leaning papers such as the Guardian)- will there be an admission that the case was rather more nuanced than they had previously portrayed it?!

  75. In my view, radical feminists, who despite the continued support of the mainstream media and academia, lose virtually every argument they engage in.These feminists seem to have misappropriated the women’s rights movement into an excuse for hating men. Examples of this are when they had played a key role in making the hashtag #KillAllMen go viral less than a year ago. It’s clear many of them will resort to bullying, authoritarian tactics to silence anyone who dares to disagree with them, in the process discrediting other genuine feminists who are attempting to focus on legitimate women’s rights issues. I suspect that these people will do there utmost to ensure Evans will continue to suffer even in the unlikely event his conviction is overturned.

  76. One tactic they use to shut down debate is labelling dissenters ‘misogynists’ and ‘rape deniers’. However, this can be more difficult to do when when some of their staunchest critics are women! Women like Erin Pizzey (who set up the first refuges for battered women).From wikipedia: ‘Pizzey said that militant feminists—with the collusion of Labour’s leading women—hijacked her cause and used it to try to demonise all men, not only in Britain, but internationally.[22] Pizzey said of the newly emerging establishment “I never saw Women’s Aid as a movement that was hostile to men, but The National Federation, which quickly formed, made it quite clear that men were the enemy.” I think because of this criticism of radical feminism by women is much more potent than that by men..

    However, I question how it can ultimately empower women to cast them as victims in need of special legal protection.

  77. I think the only way to level the playing field (stop radical feminists influencing the result of a trial) is to grant pre trial anonymity to the accused. As an example, last year Oxfords Ben Sullivan who faced 2 unfounded rape allegations, and subsequently endured weeks of public humiliation until police later confirmed he wouldn’t face any charges.
    In a interesting piece by Peter Lloyd of the Telegraph, he perfectly illustrates Bens plight at the time, ‘In a damning example of everyday sexism, Sarah Pine, President for Women at Oxford University Student Union, spearheaded a character assassination against the innocent 21 year-old, before the accusations against him had time to be considered.
    She devised a boycott of speakers scheduled to appear at the Union and called for Sullivan to resign. Interpol Secretary General Ronald Noble, Norman Finkelstein and – rather worryingly – David Mepham, UK Director of Human Rights Watch, both jumped on board the hysteria train, parping their horns along the tracks of misandry and make-believe.’
    The arguments against anonymity in my opinion are weak. They claim publicity about a case, including the identity of the accused, gives other potential victims the courage to come forward. Whilst this may well be the case, it is not strong enough a reason to allow prejudicial reporting that undermines the fairness of the trial, (and in some instances can lead to collapsed trials) as I believe has occurred in the Evans Case.

  78. I agree there is a good case to be made for anonymity for rape pre-trial accused.A worrying development is the reported news (courtesy of Alison Saunders) today that the onus is going to be moved from the prosecution to prove consent was’nt obtained to the defence proving it was in rape trials; in effect innocent until proved guilty becomes guilty until proved innocent.How does one prove consent was obtained beyond reasonable doubt when often it is one word against another or not even that as in the Evans case?!

    A major problem I believe is that radical feminism is given a free ride whether the subject is a footballer being re-employed, whose face goes on a bank note,whether an off the cuff sexist comment costs someone their job or a controversial speaker is allowed in a country.This is because people, especially politicians, are afraid to challenge the feminist narrative lest they be called ‘anti-women’ or ‘misogynistic’ in effect giving radical feminism ‘an invincibility shield’..But the truth is any ideology needs to be able to be critiqued because without it can set the agenda and influence policy beyond its popular support.Feminism itself is not the problem, feminism which cannot be criticised is.

  79. Modern feminism, unlike its suffragette and anti-slavery predecessor, is an absolutist political philosophy. Like Marxism and other totalitarian ideologies, there is zero room for dissent and disagreement.
    These type of feminists seem able to twist the arm of the authorities via the media into punishing anyone who they deem to have politically incorrect opinions.
    Considering the fact the corporate media serve as havens for liberal fantasies rejected by most people, this is unsurprising.
    The result of this radical feminist ideology wielding such influence is seemingly an entire generation of boys abandoning female company, relinquishing relationships and retreating into a virtual reality world of pornography, video games, lad culture and chemical addictions.

  80. Pretty much agree Bart, I have long time thought that the excesses of laddishness and bad boy behaviour are an attempt to create a distinctive masculine identity in a society providing a generally negative portrayal of masculinity and maleness for boys.These things tend to go in cycles and so I suppose at some point there will be a significant reaction against the excesses of radical feminism, probably when some high profile figures take up the cause, some tipping point is reached and it was obvious all along!

  81. OOPS!!! What’s all this then? The Ched Evans saga rumbles on. So, three people end up in a hotel, how or when they arrived there is probably irrelevant. Something happens. At some point two of those people are arrested. Nobody has made a serious complaint about anything, let alone RAPE (see what I did there?). The two people who were arrested make reasonably corroborative statements of their own free will, common sense prevails and those two people are told that ‘no further action’ will be taken. Hang on, I must have missed something.

  82. I’m a silly billy aren’t I. Of course, the two people who were arrested were the only two people who claim to have any recollection of events in said hotel room.
    Common sense is rapidly disappearing down the plug hole.

  83. Expect lots more cases of the same time,particularly as the onus is moving on to the accused to prove he did gain consent.The police say there have been an upsurge in rape complaints since the publicity of the Evans case.

  84. A man and a women get drunk at a party and fall into bed together. They enjoy consensual and enthusiastic sex. The following morning neither can remember the event but given the circumstances they wake up in, the facts are indisputable. But because the woman has no memory of consenting to sex, she has suddenly become a victim of rape, while the man has become a rapist. This is the ridiculous scenario the new guidelines on rape will support. These guidelines seem to suggest (I could be wrong) that if a lady is drunk but says yes (gives consent) then the man can still, under certain circumstances be charged with rape, so if a man assaults somebody but is drunk can we charge him or does it not count because he was drunk? If somebody bets away there savings when drunk can we charge the vendors for theft because it was a bad decision? Nothing is said about the woman who gets drunk and makes the first move. If the man is drunk as well, why is he the one to be held responsible?

  85. In general the law does not allow the intoxicated state of the accused to be a valid defence – which in general is a sound principle in my opinion. However, as you say Bart, this creates a situation where a man, who is equally, or more drunk than his sexual partner, is committing an act of rape if he penetrates his partner if she/he is also drunk enough to be unsteady on their feet, or have slurred speech (the precedent of the Evans case). It’s not unreasonable to believe that on this basis that there are hundreds of thousands, possibly millions of unconvicted rapists out there. Which is a nonsense.

    In my opinion, what matters in these situations is exploitation and the degree of exploitation. If both partners are equally drunk then there is no act of exploitation – as both have the same impairment of capacity. Only when the penetrating partner is appreciably less intoxicated than his partner should the possibility of a crime having been committed be considered. Even then, it would need to be properly and reliably established that the consenting partner was indeed too drunk to be deemed to have the capacity to consent, and the severity of the criminal sanction should reflect the both degree of exploitation and the distance in the degree of intoxication of the complainant from the point of capacity. So, a totally sober man who has penetrative sex with a woman who is incapable of walking unaided, or whose speech is completely incomprehensible, would receive a much more severe sanction that a partially drunk man, who has penetrative sex with a woman who is unsteady on her feet and has slurred speech, but is capable of walking unaided and whose speech is comprehensible – as in the Evans case. To my mind, this is manifestly fair and reasonable – and yet why is it that virtually no one seems to concur with my viewpoint? I find it totally mystifying.

    The whole topic of sexual misconduct, more than just about any other matter, requires a nuanced appreciation of the undoubtedly complex issues – but this is not reflected in the shallow, polarised discussions that cases such as the Evans one creates.

  86. And another thing, I agree that as you imply, the severity of the punishment should be set to properly reflect the circumstances in that particular crime but the crucial factor is, as can be applied in the Evans case, at what point of the “drunkenness’ you described does yes mean yes? What happens if the man misunderstands precisely how drunk the lady is? In my opinion, as you initially alluded to, the ruling in the Evans case and subsequent new guidance effectively makes it illegal for a man to sleep with a drunk women (a women sleeping with a drunk man is of course fine) and hence will potentially criminalise most sexual activity in this country and exposes most men to the threat of prosecution in many normal sexual situations.

  87. The reason why a fair and balanced nuanced approach will not be taken is because of the binary mantra: rape is rape.So a borderline drunken sex case (where there is real disagreement on capacity level) is considered as much rape as a masked man dragging a seventy year old grandmother off the street and violently raping her.When I put this nonsense to rape campaigners on other sites they respond with a diatribe about a culture of rape denial and it shows you how many closet rapists are out there.Pretty circular logic I would say.If life has taught me anything it is that it is rarely a black and white affair and so intuitively their approach feels wrong.

  88. The hysterical propaganda surrounding so-called rape culture, has been exemplified by the Evans case. As a solution, leftist radical feminists have dreamt up these mandatory ‘consent’ classes where students are told, in whatever state of inebriation, the need to secure a kind of arbitrary verbal contract with each other before they can engage in any kind of sexual activity, which as the Evans case shows, is pretty pointless as it carries little weight in a Court of Law.
    These feminists seem to view literally everything as an ‘attack on women’, they have corrupted genuine women’s rights issues into a full-blown gender war under the mottoes ‘Ban Men’ and ,Kill All Men’.
    The train wreck of radical feminism and the contrived gender war – promoted at every turn by the political class and establishment media – is driving a wedge between men and women, it’s derailing the cohesiveness of western society. This is the most ominous form of social engineering. This is divide and conquer on the biggest scale imaginable.

  89. I think history shows us that the price we pay for the uncritical adoption of an ideology, any ideology, is to lose some of our humanity.But there is some hope in that most ordinary men and women do not think like this and it can’t be long before everyone sees that the Emperor has no clothes.My favourite line on this subject is: ‘no one will ever win the battle of the sexes as there is too much fraternisation with the enemy’!

  90. I completely agree Mark, and furthermore I think modern feminism is becoming increasingly irrelevant because its causes and narrative don’t quite fit with the lived experience of ‘normal’ women.There is too much of a focus on getting attention no matter the means by the radicals.and quite bizarrely the underlying message they often convey is that women are victims who can’t stand up for themselves. Let’s hope the general pubic see these dangerous people for who they really are so we can begin reverse this worrying trend

  91. I find this statement from Alison Saunders disturbing: “Consent to sexual activity is not a grey area – in law it is clearly defined and must be given fully and freely”. In most sexual assault situations this may be a valid statement – but in the area of the voluntary intoxication of a factually consenting complainant the law is anything but clear – and there are very obvious grey areas. For instance you have parliaments Pontius Pilate decision not to specify the criteria for ascertaining whether or not a complainant if “too drunk to consent” – handing the responsibility entirely to unguided juries (and I’m sorry, judges effectively saying “you may or may not deem a complainant too drunk to consent” is not meaningful guidance) – whose decisions are inevitably arbitrary and inconsistent.

    If the Director of Public Prosecutions has such an un-nuanced belief system, that flies in the face of the evidence, then what hope is there for fair and proportionate sentences for sexual offences.

  92. Maybe any young man considering sexual intercourse should avail himself of a legally drawn up consent form,an alcohol breath tester and two reputable, independent witnesses (lawyers would be expensive but ideal).It may spoil the mood somewhat …. but hey, he would be (relatively) safe from prosecution! I can picture the scenario ‘Hey Jane, let’s get it on… but first meet my lawyer Mr Smith and sign this waver ….’

  93. And another thing, I think the problem is that the rape law in the area you mentioned as you say, is so in fact so ambiguous, contrary to the belief of Miss Saunders, that there is very real, terrible consequence that we will end up with a proliferation of solicitors ill-equipped to deal with such matters. Victims of sexual assault deserve competent legal representation; the legal system needs prosecutors, defence council , and judges who have vigorously studied the nuances of rape adjudication. Social progress on all these fronts will be rolled back if the ambiguity in the rape law you described is not addresses. That would be a travesty of justice.

  94. Mark, you could take all the precautions in the world including using consent forms, but unless the lady is later deemed to not have had the ‘capacity’ to agree to them, the man still risks the possibility of being prosecuted, so as I have touched on previously, the question is when does yes mean yes?
    Even if two persons have sexual relations and they seemingly are consensual with accompanying evidence, the ruling in the Evans case effectively permits the female to change her mind later and have the male charged with sexual assault or rape, and it is obviously then up to a jury to determine long after the fact if it was rape (sex without consent) or not, therefore with the Judges directions, the proceedings themselves are little more than kangaroo courts. The Judge, in a round about way, pretty much orders the jury that the following standard must be observed: if a female has even a drop of alcohol in her when she has a sexual encounter, it is to be assumed that she has absolutely no control over herself to give consent, so that if she has been drinking and has sex with a male, the male by definition has raped her. However, even if the male was stinking drunk, the jury are supposed to assume he had full control over his faculties. This is an Alice-in-Wonderland set of legal standards, but that is seemingly how things are done these days.

  95. I noticed with the us consent rule that any permission given can be changed at any time which kind of invalidates any agreement made, because the female could say OK I signed the agreement but I changed my mind after!

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