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Richard and Judy file complaint after troll rape threats

TV presenters Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan have made a formal police complaint after rape threats were made against their daughter.

Chloe Madeley received threats on Twitter after defending Ms Finnigan, who caused controversy when she described a rape committed by footballer Ched Evans as "non-violent".

The family said they have given police "a substantial amount of evidence".

Evans was jailed for five years in 2012 for raping a 19-year-old woman.

A statement from the family said: "Following legal advice, our family has now made a formal complaint to the Metropolitan Police about cyber-stalking, harassment and, most recently, rape threats made against Chloe on Twitter.

"We have presented the police with a substantial amount of evidence, and they have launched an immediate investigation.

"We will be making no further comment at this time."

Evans has served half of his sentence, and was released last week. On Wednesday he released a video statement in which he said he was "determined to continue the fight" to clear his name.

Speaking on ITV's Loose Women about the possibility that Evans could return to professional football, Ms Finnigan said the 25-year-old had "served his time".

She said: "The rape - and I am not, please, by any means minimising any kind of rape - but the rape was not violent, he didn't cause any bodily harm to the person.

"It was unpleasant, in a hotel room I believe, and she [the victim] had far too much to drink."

In a statement after the show, she said she was discussing what should happen to prisoners after their release.

"I absolutely wasn't suggesting that rape was anything other than an horrendous crime," she added.

Reacting to the situation with her own Twitter post, Chloe Madeley, 27, wrote: "To believe my mother is pro 'non violent rape' is ridiculous and I am shocked that so many people have jumped to this conclusion.

"To the trolls wishing rape on me, stop, you are utterly pathetic."

On Sunday Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said that internet trolls could face up to two years in jail under new laws he has proposed.

Evans was not sacked by his club, Sheffield United, when he was sent to prison - but the club allowed his contract to expire in June 2012.

BBC
Today
0 Points
1

I want a second chance, says rapist footballer Ched Evans

Convicted rapist Ched Evans, who was released last week after serving half of a five-year jail term, has said he is ‘determined to continue the fight’ to clear his name.

In a video interview posted on his website, the footballer says he hopes to return to playing the game, adding that his lawyers are taking steps to overturn his conviction.

The former Sheffield United striker, who has always insisted the sex was consensual, admits he regrets his ‘incredibly foolish decision’ to cheat on girlfriend Natasha Massey, who also appears in the clip.

The 25-year-old says: ‘Now that I have served the custodial part of my sentence of two-and-a-half years, it is my hope that I will be able to return to football.

‘If that is possible, then I will do so with humility, having learnt a very painful lesson.

‘I would like a second chance,’ he added.

The release of the two-minute video message came on the day the BBC was forced to apologise over comments by presenter Michael Buerk, who appeared to criticise Evans’ victim for being drunk.

In a Radio 4 trailer, he said neither Evans nor his victim emerged ‘with any credit’ as she was so drunk ‘she could barely stand’.

A BBC spokesman said there was ‘no intention’ to suggest the victim was at fault.

Metro
Today
12 Points
1

VIDEO: Convicted rapist footballer Ched Evans protests he is INNOCENT

The former Sheffield United player admitted cheating on his girlfriend, which he said was "incredibly foolish", but claimed it was consensual.

Evans, who served half of a five year sentence for raping a teenager in a hotel room, added he would be taking his case to the Court to Appeal.

The 25-year-old released a video statement, which also featured his girlfriend Natasha Massey, on his official website today.

In the footage, the ex-Wales international said: "It is public knowledge that an application to refer my case back to the Court of Appeal has recently been submitted to the Criminal Case Review Commission by my lawyers.

"The application seeks to demonstrate that the act I engaged in that night was consensual in nature and not rape.

"I made an incredibly foolish decision and failed those people who trusted and believed in me.

"Most of all Natasha and our families."

Evans was convicted in April 2012 of raping a 19-year-old girl at a hotel near Rhyl in North Wales.

Later that year, he took his case to the Court of Appeal but the decision was upheld.

Evans, who spent two years at Manchester City towards the start of his career, was released from prison last Friday.

He has 13 appearances with the Welsh national squad and said that he hoped he would be able to return to playing football.

Evans said: "It is a rare and extraordinary privilege to be permitted to play professional football.

"Now that I have served the custodial part of my sentence of two-and-a-half years, it is my hope that I will be able to return to football.

"If that is possible then I will do so with humility, having learnt a very painful lesson.

"I would like a second chance but I know not everybody will agree."

Evans, whose girlfriend sat silently by him during the video, also apologised to his partner and his family for the "hurt" he had caused.

He added that their support had kept him "strong" during his time in prison.

Evans said: "It can't have been an easy thing to have stood by someone who the court found guilty of such a destructive act.

"I will be forever grateful even though being released from prison I am determined to continue the fight to clear my name."

Last week Miss Massey, 26, appeared on This Morning and said it had been "heartbreaking" when she found out Evans cheated on her.

She said: "As soon as I found out that he’d been questioned over rape, my instinct was kind of protective of Ched, and I thought I have to stand by him.

"So my thoughts and feelings over the cheating were put to one side and I just stepped in to help him through this terrible time.

"I know Ched and I knew he wouldn’t be capable of committing a crime like that."

More than 150,000 people have signed a petition aimed at preventing Evans being re-hired by his old club United.

Express
22/10
2 Points
1

Freed rapist Ched goes shopping

Twisted trolls have now tweeted details trying to expose her new identity.There is no suggestion the campaign is linked to Evans.In 2012, his cousin Gemma Thomas was one of nine trolls ordered to pay his victim compensation for naming her.The Criminal Cases Review Commission is to fast-track an examination of Evans’ conviction. being named 6,000 times on Twitter and verbally abused.She has been forced to move and change her name.

The Sheffield United footballer was out in Alderley Edge, Cheshire, with loyal girlfriend Natasha Massey, 26.

Evans, 25, was released from jail on Friday after two-and-a-half years for his sex attack in a hotel room on a teenager in May 2011.

The victim, now 22, has endured a campaign of abuse and harassment since the court case ? being named 6,000 times on Twitter and verbally abused.

She has been forced to move and change her name. Twisted trolls have now tweeted details trying to expose her new identity.

There is no suggestion the campaign is linked to Evans.

In 2012, his cousin Gemma Thomas was one of nine trolls ordered to pay his victim compensation for naming her.

The Criminal Cases Review Commission is to fast-track an examination of Evans’ conviction.

Express
21/10
15 Points
1

Rapist footballer pictured hand-in-hand with girlfriend

Defiant rapist footballer Ched Evans and his girlfriend made their first public display of unity today . The North Wales force said it did not rule out giving the victim another new identity to protect her. The club has said it is yet to make a decision.Ten people have previously been fined for illegally naming Evans’s victim on Twitter but police have refused to say if they are in pursuit of the trolls behind the latest privacy breach.

Defiant rapist footballer Ched Evans and his girlfriend made their first public display of unity today ? as it emerged that his supporters had exposed the new identity of his victim.

The former Sheffield United striker strolled hand-in-hand with Natasha Massey, 26, who stood by him after he admitted cheating on her.

Meanwhile, police said the 22-year-old victim may be forced to change her name after internet trolls blew her cover.

The woman was forced to flee the country and adopt another identity when she became the target of a Twitter hate campaign, following Evans’ conviction for raping her in 2011.

Now that details of her new life have been published online, she may have to start over for a second time.

Det Supt Jo Williams, of North Wales Police, said: ‘The victim in this case has been in regular contact with officers responsible for her care and is receiving appropriate support at this difficult time. She has been fully appraised of all her options.’

Evans, who has refused to accept his guilt, was pictured with Massey in Alderley Edge, Cheshire, following his release from prison last week.

The 25-year-old, who said the victim had been drinking and consented to have sex with him at a hotel near Rhyl in Wales, was set free after serving half of his five-year sentence.

An inquiry into his case is being fast-tracked by the Criminal Cases Review Commission after a vocal campaign from his supporters.

But more than 150,000 people have signed a petition calling for Sheffield United ? where he scored 48 goals in 113 games ? not to give him his old job back. The club has said it is yet to make a decision.

Ten people have previously been fined for illegally naming Evans’s victim on Twitter but police have refused to say if they are in pursuit of the trolls behind the latest privacy breach. The North Wales force said it did not rule out giving the victim another new identity to protect her.

Metro
21/10
8 Points
1

Ched Evans: cheating on my girlfriend was unforgivable but I am innocent

Just days after he was released from jail, the former Sheffield United striker - who served two and half years of a five year sentence for raping a teenager in a hotel room - was embroiled in new controversy.

In an interview conducted just prior to his release, but made public for the first time yesterday, the 25-year-old told how it had been "unforgivable" to have cheated on his girlfriend Natasha Massey.

But with respect to the actual crime he was convicted of by a jury at Caernarfon Crown Court two years ago, he showed no remorse and maintained he had broken no law.

He told a Sunday newspaper: "It was something that should never have happened.

"I cheated on my girlfriend and had sex with this girl - but it was definitely consensual."

He added: "I am determined to prove my innocence.

"I really thought it would have been thrown out of court and I was stunned when I was convicted.

"I had done nothing wrong."

A statement posted on Evans' website from his family and girlfriend also stressed he would "continue the fight to clear his name".

It added: "Chedwyn Evans maintains his absolute innocence and his family, friends and many who know the true facts of the case believe that his conviction was a gross miscarriage of justice."

Evans' highly controversial case is now due to be fastracked into review by the Criminal Case Review Commission.

The "substantive" investigation into his rape conviction is expected to take place "within the next few weeks".

If the review goes in Evans' favour, his conviction could potentially be overturned, as the CCRC has the authority to direct cases to the Court of Appeal.

A CCRC spokesman explained: "In line with our published policy on prioritisation, and in relation to the facts of the case and the issues raised in Mr Evans' application to us... we now expect our substantive investigation to begin within the next few weeks.

"The decision to prioritise the case simply brings forward the starting point of the investigations to decide whether or not there may be grounds for us to refer the case to the court of appeal.

"It does not in any way represent a judgment by the commission as to the merits of the case or its chances of being referred."

Last night, Katie Russell, spokeswoman for the charity Rape Crisis charity, branded the player's words harmful and insulting to his victim, for whom she said he had never shown any regard.

"His protestations of innocence and sympathy only for his girlfriend are insulting, harmful and hurtful - not only to his victim, but also to the countless other victims of sexual violence out there," she said.

"He has never taken a moment's responsibility for his crime nor shown any regard for the terrible impact it has had on her."

The former Sheffield United player's release last week sparked a fierce debate over whether he should be allowed to return to his highly paid role as a footballer.

Many Blades fans have called for Evans to be rehabilitated but almost 151,000 people have signed an online petition urging the Bramall Lane club not to welcome him back.

TV presenter Judy Finnigan sparked further controversy by claiming Evans' crime was "non violent" and did not cause "bodily harm" during a panel discussion on ITV's Loose Women.

Her comments caused a wave of criticism, abuse on social media and also sparked threats against her daughter, fitness instructor Chloe, wishing rape on her.

Evans was jailed in April 2012 for the rape in Rhyl, North Wales.

The footballer admitted having sex with the woman but she told the jury she had no memory of the incident.

The prosecution said the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was too drunk to consent to sexual intercourse.

Port Vale defender Clayton McDonald also admitted having sex with the victim but was found not guilty of the same charge.

An appeal against Evans' conviction was rejected by three judges at the Court of Appeal in 2012.

Over the weekend, Sheffield United dismissed reports that the club has offered a new contract to Evans as "false and damaging".

In a statement, the club rejected the report as "speculative" media coverage, adding: "An article in The Sun (on Saturday) that Sheffield United has offered a contract to former player Ched Evans is false and damaging to the club.

"We have made a statement on this matter previously and the lack of credibility and substance from this latest media report does not warrant any expansion from previous comments apart from noting that we are continuing to deliberate on any long-term decision about Ched Evans."

TV presenter and Sheffield United patron Charlie Webster, who revealed in an interview earlier this year she was sexually assaulted as a teenager, said she will quit her role with the club if they re-sign Evans.

She said: "You will have young people cheering him on when he scores a goal.

"Not under my name, under my club or community.

"He says he is innocent, he has shown no remorse."

She was immediately branded a "hypocrite" by Evans' sister Kylie, who retweeted a message in which the sports presenter posted last month saying she wanted to get a photograph of former heavyweight boxing champion and convicted rapist Mike Tyson.

He was convicted of rape in 1992 after an incident the previous year and subsequently served three years of a six-year sentence.

Miss Webster, 31, later said she was now "not proud of" her Tyson tweet.

Evans' girlfriend, Miss Massey, has long led a campaign to have his conviction overturned.

Express
20/10
4 Points
1

EXCLUSIVE: 'I’ll quit if my club brings back rapist', says Charlie Webster

Webster, who has said that she was sexually assaulted as a teenager, told BBC Radio 5 Live: "You will have young people cheering him on when he scores a goal. Not under my name, under my club or community."

Welsh international Evans, 25, was released from jail this week after serving half of a five-year sentence for raping a 19-year-old woman in a hotel.

Miss Webster, who is a member of the Justice Ministry's Victims' Panel, set up to improve the treatment of those suffering domestic violence and sexual abuse, added: "He says he is innocent, he has shown no remorse.

"I feel like it is my duty and responsibility to stand up to this.

"Very few people would be able to walk back into the same job as they did before being a convicted rapist."

Her comments immediately drew a furious reaction from the striker's sister, Kylie, who retweeted a message the Sky Sports presenter posted last month saying she wanted to get a photograph of former heavyweight boxing champion and convicted rapist Mike Tyson.

She highlighted a tweet Miss Webster posted on September 10 that read:

"Just bumped into Mike Tyson in the hotel lobby as I was randomly talking about him! I chickened out on asking for a photo...damn."

She then tweeted: "This is the same Charlie Webster that's just threatened to leave United. Hypocrite."

Tyson was convicted of rape in 1992 after an incident the previous year and subsequently served three years of a six-year sentence.

Evans was jailed in April 2012 for raping the woman in a hotel room in Rhyl, North Wales.

A spokesman for Sheffield United said they were still deciding whether or not he will ever play for them again.

However, the League One club yesterday moved quickly to deny reports they have offered him a two-year contract worth more than £500,000.

Many Blades fans have called for him to be rehabilitated, but 150,000 people have signed an online petition urging the Bramall Lane hierarchy not to welcome him back.

However, Wales manager Chris Coleman appeared to leave the door open for Evans to play again for Wales.

He refused to rule out selecting the striker following his release from prison.

But Coleman doubts Evans will be close to a return to international football for at least 12 months after a potential return to football.

He said: "There's a petition out that he shouldn't be allowed to play football again but others say that if he was a carpenter or a plumber then he would be allowed to carry on with his career.

"I would have to sit down with him and then meet with the board.

"I've never met Ched so I don't know him.

"But he was found guilty of a horrible crime so it's a horrible situation to be in.

"If Ched comes back and finds a club then that's a serious and long conversation that I need to have with him before we make a decision.

"It's not a five-minute chat given the seriousness of what happened.

"Normally a manager picks the best players for the squad but this is different."

In a bizarre twist, it emerged that Evans, if selected for Wales, could line up against another convicted rapist in their Euro 2016 qualifier against Belgium next month.

Injury-ravaged Belgium could turn to Ilombe Mboyo, 27, once part of a notorious Brussels street gang who was jailed for eight years for his part in a gang rape of a 14-year-old girl when he was aged 17.

Express
19/10
10 Points
1

'He's coming home': Sheffield United fans chant in SUPPORT of Ched Evans

Dozens of supporters voiced their support for the 25-year-old as the League One side took on Bradford away from home.

 

Fans could be heard chanting "he's coming home, he's coming home, he's coming - Chedwin's coming home" before kick-off.

A number of fans also told reporters that they would welcome back Evans, who served half of a five-year term for raping a 19-year-old in a hotel room.

Discussing the possible return of the Welshman, one Sheffield United fan told Sky News: "Absolutely. No doubt about it.

"There are other players who have done crimes and come back."

Another said: "I'd have him back if we weren't paying over the odds."

While a female fan added: "There are two sides of every story."

Reports on Twitter also claimed the chants in support of Evans continued inside of the Coral Windows Stadium.

Evans left Lancashire's Wymott Prison in the early hours of yesterday morning.

He was jailed in April 2012 for raping a teenager in Wales.

More than 150,000 people have signed an online petition calling on Sheffield United not to reinstate Evans as a player.

Today Sheffield United responded to claims that they had offered Evans a contract as "false and damaging".

Co-chairmen Kevin McCabe and Jim Phipps said they had not made a decision on whether to re-employ Evans.

They said: "An article in The Sun today that Sheffield United has offered a contract to former player Ched Evans is false and damaging to the club.

"We have made a statement on this matter previously and the lack of credibility and substance from this latest media report does not warrant any expansion from previous comments apart from noting that we are continuing to deliberate on any long-term decision about Ched Evans."

Express
19/10
3 Points
1

Ched Evans released from prison as MP says return to football is 'not appropriate'

A silver Mercedes 4x4 was seen pulling up outside Wymott Prison near Leyland, Lancashire just before 5am.

A man was seen getting into the back of the car which had blacked out windows and the vehicle left in a matter of seconds.

The Welsh international striker was jailed in April 2012 for raping the woman in a hotel room in Rhyl, North Wales.

The 25-year-old striker's release will pile more pressure on his former club, Sheffield United, to say whether he will be allowed to play for them again.

Some of the team's fans have called for him to be rehabilitated, but almost 150,000 people have signed an online petition urging the Bramall Lane club not to welcome him back.

Labour sports spokesman Clive Efford said it was "not appropriate" for Evans to return to professional football after his release.

Mr Efford told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "I think there are many areas of employment where, when you've committed a crime like that, you are not allowed to be employed in that form of employment, and I think football is one of them, because you are a role model within a community.

"I know this is sad for Ched Evans, who's been to prison and paid a price, but I think that in these circumstances it's not appropriate to have someone with that record in a profession where you are idolised by young people."

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said the owners of Sheffield United should "think really long and hard" before deciding whether to allow Evans back.

Mr Clegg said footballers were role models to youngsters and that should "weigh heavily" on the club's owners.

Sheffield Hallam MP Mr Clegg said: "I don't think it's right for politicians to tell football clubs what they will do and who they employ. 

"All I'm saying is I think football players these days, they get paid a lot of money, they are public figures and you can't ignore that."

Richard Caborn, the former sports minister and Sheffield United fan, said Evans should be allowed back only if he shows remorse and says sorry.

Sheffield United have not yet revealed whether they will allow Evans to play again.

Manager Nigel Clough has said: "We have had one or two discussions, we are awaiting a decision and the owners will make that in good time."

The footballer denied the offence but was found guilty by a jury at Caernarfon Crown Court.

He admitted having sex with the victim, but the woman told the jury she had no memory of the incident.

The prosecution said the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was too drunk to consent to sexual intercourse.

Port Vale defender Clayton McDonald also admitted having sex with the victim but was found not guilty of the same charge.

An appeal against Evans's conviction was rejected by three judges at the Court of Appeal in 2012.

His girlfriend, Natasha Massey, has led a campaign to have the conviction overturned.

Evans's case is due to be looked at by the Criminal Case Review Commission in the coming weeks.

Miss Massey has reiterated her support for her partner telling ITV's This Morning that she put her feelings about his "cheating" to one side to support him through his trial and prison and she said she has visited him every week in prison.

She has said that Evans hopes to play professional football again.

Evans scored 48 goals in 113 games for the Blades before his imprisonment, including 35 in 42 games during the 2011/12 campaign which was cut short for him due to his trial and conviction.

He has been capped 13 times for Wales.

Express
17/10
13 Points
1 2

Sports Ched Evans: Footballer released from prison after rape sentence

Evans maintains his innocence and will make a "very personal and profound" statement on his website  next week. Former Sheffield United striker Ched Evans has been released from prison after serving half of his five-year sentence for rape. But Blades manager Nigel Clough said he had held talks with club officials about the possibility of Evans returning. A statement on his website on Friday said he would continue to "fight to clear his name".

Former Sheffield United striker Ched Evans has been released from prison after serving half of his five-year sentence for rape.

The 25-year-old was found guilty in April 2012 of raping a 19-year-old woman in a hotel in May 2011.

Evans maintains his innocence and will make a "very personal and profound" statement on his website  next week.

Almost 150,000 people have signed a petition urging Sheffield United not to take the Wales international back.

But Blades manager Nigel Clough said he had held talks with club officials about the possibility of Evans returning.

Evans left Wymott Prison, near Leyland in Lancashire, in a car at about 05:30 BST on Friday.

United signed the player for £3m in 2009, but released him the month after he was convicted of raping a woman at a hotel near Rhyl, Denbighshire.

Evans denied the offence, but was found guilty by a jury at Caernarfon Crown Court.

A statement on his website on Friday said he would continue to "fight to clear his name".

It said: "Chedwyn Evans maintains his absolute innocence and his family, friends and many who know the true facts of the case believe that his conviction was a gross miscarriage of justice.

"Next week Ched will make a very personal and profound statement by video. Ched is now adjusting to normal life after serving a sentence for a crime consistently denied."

Professional Footballers' Association chief executive Gordon Taylor said last week that Evans should be allowed to continue his career after his release.

And Clough told BBC Radio Sheffield on Wednesday: "We've had one or two discussions and the owners will make a decision on it.

"It is above a football level. If he comes back then we [the coaching staff] will decide whether to play him or not."

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg urged the club's owners to "think really long and hard" before re-signing Evans.

Clegg, MP for Sheffield Hallam, said: "When you take a footballer on, you are not taking just a footballer these days, you are also taking on a role model."

Richard Caborn, former sports minister and ex-MP for Sheffield Central, said Evans must "show remorse and say sorry" before he can be considered for a return to playing professionally.

Former Manchester City forward Evans, capped 13 times by Wales, scored 48 goals in 113 games for the Blades before his imprisonment.

Jill Saward, who was raped in the notorious Ealing Vicarage  case in 1986, believes allowing Evans to play professional football again would send out "a totally wrong message".

"We don't want young people being influenced by icons or celebrities who have a past like this," Saward, a high-profile victim of crime campaigner,  told BBC Breakfast.

"I'm not saying he can't do anything in football but I don't think he should be playing."

Christopher Stacey, director of reformed offenders' charity Unlock,  argued on Breakfast that Evans deserves a second chance.

"There is a difference between condoning his behaviour and giving him a job," said Stacey.

"People like Ched Evans have to go somewhere. They are back in the world and we have to find a way of reintegrating them.

"Ultimately people have to be the best at the job they are going for and that's a decision Sheffield United have to make as an employer."

BBC
17/10
0 Points
1 2 3

Richard Madeley in warning to Twitter trolls over rape threats

If he comes back then we [the coaching staff] will decide whether to play him or not." More than 140,000 people have signed an online petition calling on Sheffield United not to let Evans return.Evans, who was refused leave to appeal his conviction in 2012, began a fresh attempt in July, asking the Criminal Cases Review Commission to review his case which could lead to a new appeal.

TV presenter Richard Madeley has said people who sent "sick rape threats" to his daughter are in "deep trouble".

Chloe Madeley received threats on Twitter after defending her mother, Judy Finnigan, who caused controversy when she described a rape committed by footballer Ched Evans as "non-violent".

Mr Madeley tweeted "prosecution awaits" for the culprits but refused to comment on whether he had contacted police.

The Met Police said they were not aware of any complaint about the matter.

However, a spokesman added it could have been reported to any police force.

Evans was jailed for five years in 2012 for raping a 19-year-old woman, but has served half of his sentence and is expected to be released on Friday.

Speaking on Monday about the possibility that Evans could return to professional football, Ms Finnigan said the 25-year-old had "served his time".

On ITV's Loose Women, she said: "The rape - and I am not, please, by any means minimising any kind of rape - but the rape was not violent, he didn't cause any bodily harm to the person."

"It was unpleasant, in a hotel room I believe, and she [the victim] had far too much to drink."

Following criticism of her comments on Twitter, Ms Finnigan said: "I apologise unreservedly for any offence that I may have caused as a result of the wording I used."

In a statement, she said she was discussing what should happen to prisoners after their release.

"I absolutely wasn't suggesting that rape was anything other than an horrendous crime," she added.

Reacting to the situation with her own Twitter post, Miss Madeley wrote: "To believe my mother is pro 'non violent rape' is ridiculous and I am shocked that so many people have jumped to this conclusion.

"To the trolls wishing rape on me, stop, you are utterly pathetic."

One of those who criticised Ms Finnigan was Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird, who said: "No bodily injury has little relevance; it doesn't have to do physical damage to be rape and it is the essence of violence to force himself upon her."

Evans was not sacked by his club, Sheffield United, when he was sent to prison - but the club allowed his contract to expire in June 2012.

Current manager Nigel Clough has confirmed he has spoken to club officials about the possibility of Evans returning after his release.

"We've had one or two discussions and the owners will make a decision on it," Clough told BBC Radio Sheffield.

"It is above a football level. If he comes back then we [the coaching staff] will decide whether to play him or not."

More than 140,000 people have signed an online petition calling on Sheffield United not to let Evans return.

Evans, who was refused leave to appeal his conviction in 2012, began a fresh attempt in July, asking the Criminal Cases Review Commission to review his case which could lead to a new appeal.

BBC
16/10
1 Points
1 2 3

Girlfriend of rapist footballer Ched Evans says she loves him and will stand by him

The girlfriend of convicted rapist Ched Evans has vowed she will ‘continue to stand by’ her man.Natasha Massey claimed the former Sheffield United striker, who was jailed for five years in 2012 for attacking a 19-year-old woman, ‘wasn’t capable’ of such a crime.Evans is due to be freed this month after serving half his sentence.

The girlfriend of convicted rapist Ched Evans has vowed she will ‘continue to stand by’ her man.

Natasha Massey claimed the former Sheffield United striker, who was jailed for five years in 2012 for attacking a 19-year-old woman, ‘wasn’t capable’ of such a crime.

Evans is due to be freed this month after serving half his sentence. More than 140,000 people have signed a petition calling for him to be banned from professional football.

But yesterday Miss Massey, 25, told ITV’s This Morning: ‘I know Ched is innocent. I love him and I will continue to stand by him.’

The beauty therapist said she had been with Evans, 25, for two-and-a-half years when he was arrested, adding it was ‘heart-breaking’ to learn he’d cheated on her.

‘As soon as I found out that he’d been questioned over rape, my instinct was kind of protective of Ched and I thought, “I have to stand by him”.

‘I honestly never thought he’d get a guilty verdict ? and the day he did, I was never going to leave him because I knew the facts way before the public.’

Speaking about Evans’ possible return to the pitch, she said: ‘I’m just his partner ? I don’t get involved in the football.

‘But I do know that Ched would love to continue doing what he knows best and what he loves.’

Evans’s sister Kylie also appeared on the programme to defend him, saying she had ‘no idea’ why the ex-Welsh international was jailed.

She added there were ‘miscarriages of justice’ and ‘just because 12 people found him guilty’ did not mean others should listen.

Their words came after Judy Finnigan was forced to apologise for appearing to defend Evans on ITV’s Loose Women on Monday.

At the time, she told viewers the attack ‘was not violent’ and his victim had ‘far too much to drink’.

She later released an ‘unreserved apology’, adding she was ‘in no way’ trying to minimise rape.

Metro
15/10
4 Points
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Arts Tech Natasha Massey defends rapist boyfriend Ched Evans: ‘I love him and I will continue to stand by him’

He played a game of football and that was it.’It comes as Judy Finnigan apologised after appearing to defend Evans on ITV’s Loose Women yesterday. I honestly never thought he’d get a guilty and the day he did I was never going to leave him because I knew the facts way before the public.‘I know Ched is innocent, I love him and I will continue to stand by him.‘I just want to get him home and live a normal life.

Ched Evans’ girlfriend has defended the convicted rapist, saying she knows he is innocent and that she will ‘continue to stand by him’.

Speaking on ITV’s This MorningNatasha Massey insisted she ‘knew he wasn’t capable of a crime like that’ and that the people ‘are reading a headline and not reading the facts’.

The former Sheffield United striker was convicted of raping a 19-year-old woman in 2012, with the judge saying during sentencing: ‘The complainant was 19 years of age and was extremely intoxicated.

CCTV footage shows, in my view, the extent of her intoxication when she stumbled into your friend. 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.’

Jailed for five years, judges refused to give leave to an appeal in 2012. He is due to be released this month, with debate now raging over whether Evans should be allowed to return to playing professional football.

While presenter Phillip Schofield pointed out that Evans had been found guilty beyond reasonable doubt, sister Kylie said: ‘That’s shocking to us. I was in court every day and I have no idea how they came to that conclusion.’

She added that there were ‘miscarriages of justice’ and that ‘just because 12 people found him guilty’, people should not necessarily listen to them.

When asked by Amanda Holden how she had managed to stand by him, girlfriend Natasha said: ‘Obviously the cheating was private and we dealt with that at the time. I honestly never thought he’d get a guilty and the day he did I was never going to leave him because I knew the facts way before the public.

‘I know Ched is innocent, I love him and I will continue to stand by him.

‘I just want to get him home and live a normal life. We’ve never lived this celebrity life which people are trying to portray Ched as in the media. He played a game of football and that was it.’

It comes as Judy Finnigan apologised after appearing to defend Evans on ITV’s Loose Women yesterday.

Metro
14/10
6 Points
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Arts Tech Judy Finnigan apologises after sparking outrage on Loose Women for defending rapist Ched Evans

Judy also drew attention to the fact that Evans has never shown any remorse, having always protested his innocence.‘You can look at that from two ways,’ she said.‘You could look at that and think, right well, he’s not sorry, he’s not admitted any remorse. That is reprehensible, but he has been convicted and he has served his time.‘Now when he comes out, what are we supposed to do.

Loose Women’s Judy Finnigan has apologised after comments she made on the daily talk show that appeared to defend convicted rapist Ched Evans.

Finnigan sparked controversy with her statement and soon fell foul to a Twitter backlash.

‘I apologise unreservedly for any offence that I may have caused as a result of the wording I used,’ she said in a statement.

The former Sheffield United striker is currently in prison for the rape of a 19-year-old woman, who was deemed too drunk to consent, but is due to be released from prison within days.

Debate has raged over whether Evans should be allowed to return to professional football, with over 100,000 people signing a petition aimed at preventing Evans re-signing with his former club.

But Judy faced an online backlash during her Loose Women debut after giving her controversial verdict on the matter, pointing out that the rape was ‘not violent’ and that the victim was drunk.

Speaking on the ITV show, she said: ‘He’s served his time. The rape and I am not, please, by any means minimising any kind of rape ? but the rape was not violent. He didn’t cause any bodily harm to the person.’

‘It was unpleasant, in a hotel room, I believe, and she was ? she had far too much to drink. That is reprehensible, but he has been convicted and he has served his time.

‘Now when he comes out, what are we supposed to do? Just actually refuse to let him do his job? Again, even though he has already been punished?’

Judy also drew attention to the fact that Evans has never shown any remorse, having always protested his innocence.

‘You can look at that from two ways,’ she said.

‘You could look at that and think, right well, he’s not sorry, he’s not admitted any remorse. Why should he come back and be a football player? Or you could think he feels he didn’t do it so he wants to become rehabilitated in his own way.’

Many viewers expressed their shock at the remarks online, with one Twitter user commenting: ‘Judy Finnigan is the reason that some rape victims do not report for fear of being blamed. What a disgusting woman, she should be ashamed.’

As several people pointed out that ‘rape is rape’, another user added: ‘As if Judy Finnigan actually said Ched Evans should be allowed to play football again because the rape wasn’t violent & the girl was drunk.’

Despite the overwhelmingly negative reaction, some people believed she had a point.

One Twitter user, identifying himself as a Sheffield United supporter in his profile, said: ‘Judy Finnigan has said her opinion on the matter, well done for not just following the crowd. Someone who read the facts, others haven’t.’

Another added: ‘People that know nothing on the Ched Evans case should not comment on it #judyfinnigan #justiceforched.’

ITV refused to apologise on Judy’s behalf, with a spokesman saying: ‘Women is a daily talk show centred around topical debate and frank discussion,” said a Loose Women spokesperson earlier.

‘Opinions are expressed and exchanged from a mix of viewpoints.’

Metro
14/10
5 Points
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