Sheffield United are linked with a move to re-sign the striker…
Former Sheffield United striker Ched Evans today declared that he was ‘not a rapist’, ahead of his potential return to football following a two-and-a-half year stint in prison.
Reports in the Daily Mail explain that Evans is ‘ashamed’ of the actions that saw him convicted of rape – but has expressed no remorse for the crime, maintaining his innocence and insisting that the sex was ‘definitely consensual’.
Evans wishes he could ‘turn back the clock’ on the May 2011 incident, describing cheating on his girlfriend being ‘unforgivable’, but does not believe the claims that the victim was too drunk to remember the incident.
Speaking earlier today, the Welshman said: “It was something that should never have happened. And it is something that I will regret for the rest of my life. I cheated on my girlfriend and had sex with this girl – but it was definitely consensual.”
His mother also spoke out in his defence, saying her son was ‘buzzing’ and will return home with ‘all guns blazing to prove his innocence’. His family and girlfriend Natasha Massey – who has a led a campaign to have Evans conviction overturned – were to throw a coming home party.
The latter told reporters: “We just hope the feminist gang will soon find something else to go and bang their drum about.”
An appeal against Evans’ conviction was rejected by three judges at the Court of Appeal in 2012 but it is due to be reviewed by the Criminal Case Review Commission in the coming weeks.
Cases normally take several months to be dealt with by the commission, but Evans’ case is being fast tracked due to ‘issues raised’ by his legal team, with the player’s former club Sheffield United reportedly watching the case with interest – although they have denied offering a contract.
Port Vale defender Clayton McDonald also admitted having sex with the victim but was found not guilty of the same charge. Debate has raged during the past week about whether the former Sheffield United player should be able to return to football.
Many Blades fans have called for Evans to be rehabilitated but almost 150,000 people have signed an online petition urging the Bramall Lane club not to take him back.
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