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Ched Evans' rape retrial jury told drunken teenager could not have agreed to sex

Published 04/10/2016

Ched Evans with partner Natasha Massey arrive at Cardiff Crown Court
Ched Evans with partner Natasha Massey arrive at Cardiff Crown Court

A drunken teenager was so "out of it", she could not consent to having sex with football star Ched Evans - let alone remember it, jurors have heard.

Cardiff Crown Court was told the 27-year-old striker arrived at a hotel room in north Wales at around 4am after a friend phoned him to say "I've got a girl".

Prosecutors said hotel staff described the woman as stumbling drunk and looking vacant before going into a room with one of Evans' friends.

Jurors were told Evans then arrived by taxi before sex noises were heard coming from the room booked in his name - before the 13 cap Wales international "surreptitiously" left.

Evans was later convicted of raping the woman but this was quashed by the Court of Appeal and a retrial in front of seven women and five men began on Tuesday.

He denies rape but Simon Medland QC, prosecuting, insisted the woman could not have given her consent.

Mr Medland said the woman, who cannot be named, awoke hours later to find she had wet the bed and only had "some fragments" of what had happened to her.

"She was that intoxicated that she didn't really know what on earth was happening," Mr Medland told the jury.

"Sex without consent is rape.

"The complainant will not be able to tell you that she did consent.

"How could she? She didn't even know Ched Evans was having sex with her.

"She had to piece together some fairly fragmentary memories of events later the next morning after she'd woken up and found that this defendant had slipped away into the night through the fire escape door."

On the first day of the retrial, jurors were told that on May 30 2011, Evans paid £92 for a hotel room at a Premier Inn near Rhyl, north Wales.

The court heard the booking had been made under the name of Clayton McDonald - a friend of Evans' who he later went "out on the town" with.

Also out that night was the complainant, who was seen on CCTV looking "very unsteady on her feet" before leaving a kebab shop with Mr McDonald.

She then got into a taxi with Mr McDonald, with the driver describing her as "drunk, very docile and not with it".

And during the journey, Mr McDonald is alleged to have called Evans and told him "I've got a girl".

After arriving at the 44-bed hotel, receptionist Gavin Burrough described the woman as stumbling around with a vacant expression on her face.

Former Sheffield United forward Evans arrived by taxi 15 minutes later, asking for a room key and claiming that the room had been booked for his friend who had left.

Mr Medland added: "We say that it will be obvious that Ched Evans knew that McDonald was in the room."

Mr Burrough saw a group of men Evans had arrived with in a taxi standing outside the window of the room where the alleged attack took place, speaking to someone inside.

He then walked past Room 14 and heard noises of people having sex.

Jurors heard Mr McDonald left the hotel in a taxi, while Evans left "surreptitiously by the fire exit door".

Mr Medland also said the complainant, who is now in her 20s, later awoke in pain and had minor visible injuries.

"She remembers practically nothing of the events of that night and can only piece together some fragments of it," he added.

Both Mr McDonald and Evans were later charged separately with raping the woman, with Mr McDonald acquitted after trial.

High Court Judge Mrs Justice Nicola Davies said that while the case was a retrial, they should ignore everything they might have heard about previous proceedings.

"You are to try this case on the evidence you hear in this court in this trial and nothing else," she added.

Prosecuting counsel Mr Medland also told jurors they should put any preconceptions aside too.

"This is especially important, you may feel, in a case like this, because many of you will know of this defendant," he added.

"He was at the time - and remains now - a well-known footballer."

"The central feature is the real heart of the case: the issue of consent."

Evans, who now plays for League One side Chesterfield, denies rape.

The trial, which is expected to last two weeks, continues.

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