UK & World News
Footballer Jailed After Raping Teen In Hotel
Sheffield United and Wales striker Ched Evans has been found guilty of raping a woman who was "too drunk to consent" to sex - and jailed for five years.
His co-accused, Port Vale defender Clayton McDonald, was found not guilty of the same charge.
In sentencing at Caernarfon Crown Court, Judge Merfyn Hughes QC told Evans: "You have thrown away the successful career in which you were involved.
"As the jury have found, she was in no condition to have sexual intercourse. When you arrived at the hotel, you must have realised that."
Evans' legal team issued a statement immediately after the verdict repeating his claim of innocence and hinting at an appeal, while Sheffield United said it would respond to the sentence only after it had "taken sufficient time to consider the matter fully".
Mr McDonald had hugged a sobbing Evans after receiving his not guilty verdict, which saw court proceedings briefly adjourned due to Mr McDonald's supporters cheering in the public gallery.
But when the judge returned to court and the guilty verdict was returned for Evans, the footballer looked shocked and threw the headphones he was using to follow the trial on the floor.
The two footballers, who are both 23 and first met when they were both at the Manchester City youth academy, were accused of raping a 19-year-old woman in a hotel room last year.
Evans, originally from St Asaph, Denbighshire, and now of Penistone, South Yorkshire, and Mr McDonald of Crewe, Cheshire, admitted having sex with the woman on May 30, 2011, but said it was consensual.
The jury had been told that after seeing the "dangerously intoxicated" woman fall over in kebab shop in Rhyl, Mr McDonald got into a taxi with her to a Premier Inn hotel.
He then sent a text to Evans stating he had "got a bird", the court heard.
During Evans' evidence, he told the jury he had gone to the hotel room, let himself into Mr McDonald's room and watched his friend have sex with the woman.
He said Mr McDonald asked if his friend could join in, to which the woman said yes. Mr McDonald later left the room.
But the woman, who cannot be named, said she had no memory of travelling to the Premier Inn and feared her drink had been spiked.
She claimed she could not remember the events that followed but recollected waking up naked, alone and confused some hours later.
But defending Mr McDonald, Lloyd Morgan said the woman had approached him and was "capable of making decisions".
Evans, who signed in a deal worth around £3m in 2009, has scored 34 goals for Sheffield United this season and was the club's player of the month for March. He has 13 caps and two goals for Wales.