Ched Evans could have starred for Wales at Euro 2016 had he just stayed silent, says lawyer

Ched Evans seen playing for Chesterfield

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Ched Evans' lawyer has suggested the footballer could have been one of Wales' heroes during Euro 2016 had he just stayed silent during the initial investigation into his alleged rape.

Evans was convicted of raping a 19-year-old waitress in a hotel room in May 2011, but the decision was overturned in October, by which time the former Manchester City and Sheffield United player had served two-and-a-half years of his five-year sentence.

Lawyer Shaun Draycott said the woman Evans was convicted of raping had gone to the police about her handbag, rather than any sexual assault. He told Julia Hartley-Brewer that, when police contacted Evans "there was no evidence of intercourse at all.

"Had Evans exercised his right of silence during the course of that interview on May 31 he would not have been charged, he would not have faced court proceedings, he would not have gone to prison. He may well be playing football with Sheffield United or some other club today, and he may well have represented his country in the summer time at the European Championships."

Wales enjoyed a superb European Championship tournament this summer, reaching the semi-finals before being beaten by Portugal.

Draycott also expressed sympathy for the girl, said the trial and surrounding media speculation was a "rollercoaster, and a poor young woman was placed on that rollercoaster in a politically-driven scenario. She had no means of getting off that rollercoaster."

You can listen to the interview with Shaun Draycott by clicking above.

Earlier, Evans' father-in-law Karl Massey explained why he stood by the footballer, who now plays for Chesterfield, despite the allegations and the revelation that Evans had been unfaithful to his daughter. Massey also said Evans bore no ill-will towards the girl at the centre of the case, and suggested the police had been trying to "catch a big fish" rather than pursue justice.