The case of Ched Evans, who was convicted of rape in 2012, has attracted an enormous amount of interest.
We covered his application to appeal in November 2012, which was unsuccessful. Normally, that would have been the end of the matter, but he made a successful application to the CCRC, who referred his case to the Court of Appeal.
The appeal was heard over two days on 22nd and 23rd March 2016. Unsurprisingly, given that there was a lot of evidence heard from various different witnesses, the judgement was reserved.
On 21st April 2016, judgment was ‘handed down’.
The short version is that Mr Evans won his appeal. In those circumstances, the Court of Appeal has a discretion as to whether to order a re-trial or not.
Here, they decided to. Mr Evans will have to appear in the Crown Court within the next two months where directions will be set for a re-trial.
Given that a re-trial is ordered, it is not clear whether the full judgment will be made available. It may be that there are matters in that that the Court of Appeal feel should not be made public until the end of the re-trial. That is perfectly proper and usual, and is normal practice when a re-trial is ordered.
We’ve got a busy work day, so will add to this as we go along (we promise to have a full comment up tonight at the latest).
What will happen at the re-trial?
It will proceed exactly as a ‘normal’ Crown Court trial.
One point to note though is that if he is found guilty at the re-trial, then he cannot get a higher sentence than at the first trial (5 years imprisonment).
Given that he has served the custodial part of his sentence, there is therefore no question of him being sent back to prison.
So is it still illegal to name the complainant?
Oh yes. Please do remember that – people have been prosecuted for not heeding that.