Women's rights groups condemn Ched Evans' retrial

The jury heard evidence concerning the complainant's sexual history

Women's rights groups condemn Ched Evans' retrial

Ched Evans (Image: Wikipedia Commons)

There are fears victims of sex crimes may be discouraged from coming forward after the way the retrial of footballer Ched Evans was handled in a Welsh court.

The former Wales international striker was cleared of raping a 19-year-old woman at Cardiff Crown Court yesterday.

Evans maintained throughout legal proceedings that he had consensual sex with the woman at a hotel five years ago.

The 27-year-old had spent time in jail following his original conviction.

Following the verdict, women's rights groups in the UK are condemning the decision to allow the jury to hear evidence concerning his accuser’s sexual history.

Women Against Rape said the decision risks deterring women from reporting sexual assaults with conviction rates already “appallingly low.”

The group’s spokesperson, Lisa Longstaff said women are facing, “enormous obstacles to getting justice.”

“You only need to look at the conviction rate which is absolutely appallingly low,” she said.  

“This is going to put women off coming forward, particularly women who have been drinking; or who have had their drinks spiked; or who are from a vulnerable sector of society.”

British human rights lawyer Kirsty Brimelow said the conviction rate is actually lower than officially reported: