Ched Evans wins rape conviction appeal

The former Wales international has not played since 2012

ched evans, rape, sheffield united, football, wales

Picture by: Lauren Hurley / PA Wire/Press Association Images

Ched Evans has won an appeal against his conviction for raping a 19-year-old woman - but must face a fresh trial.

The former Sheffield United striker was present in a packed London courtroom with girlfriend Natasha Massey by his side to hear the result of his conviction challenge.

In a short statement outside the court, Evans' solicitor Shaun Draycott said the former Wales international wanted to thank Ms Massey, the couple's family and friends and members of the public who have supported him.

Evans, now 27, was convicted and jailed for five years in May 2012 for raping a 19-year-old woman in Rhyl, north Wales.

He was released on licence in October 2014 having served half his sentence, but his attempts to return to football were accompanied by sustained criticism from politicians, well-known football fans and campaign groups.

An initial appeal failed, but following a review by the Criminal Cases Review Commission the case was referred back to the appeal court last year. He must be formally charged within two months of today's decision.