Ched Evans – Judgment Reserved

    Ched Evans – Judgment Reserved

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    Photo from the BBC

    There has been a lot of interest in the appeal of Ched Evans (see here for our piece on it).

    On 23rd March 2016 we found out that the judgment was ‘reserved’.

    This means that the three Judges will go away and discuss the case before coming to a conclusion. Afterwards, one of them will draft a written judgment.

    This will be circulated in advance to the lawyers from both sides about a week before it is released to the public. This is on the strict understanding that those lawyers to not inform anybody, even their client, of the outcome or show anyone the draft (the Courts take this very seriously – it’s a contempt of court, see here for an example of just how seriously it is taken).

    The purpose of this is not for the lawyers to re-argue the case, but to check it for typos and factual accuracy.

    We will probably find out which date is set a few days beforehand – this will probably be early April we are told.

    One hour before the judgment is ‘handed down’ (officially published) the lawyers can share the outcome with their client. Typically this will be at 9am.

    And then at 10am the Judges will come into Court and formally hand it down. In a case such as this one they will probably announce the result and hand out copies of the written judgment to the journalists. This will be published online shortly afterwards.

    In many cases this will be done to an empty Court, as the lawyers will be excused from coming along, and there is no journalistic interest.

    Clearly in this case there will be a huge media circus. In addition, there may be other issues such as whether a re-trial should be ordered (if the appeal is allowed), or whether either party should pay any costs of the appeal. For that reason, we expect that both sides will be represented.

    At the moment, the reporting restrictions that were imposed yesterday have been directed to continue until then. When more information is released, we will have a look at this in more detail.

    *Comments have been disabled pending the outcome of the appeal*

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    Dan is a barrister at 2 Dr. Johnson’s Buildings practising in crime.

    29 COMMENTS

    1. In your experience Dan hypothetically do reserved judgements usually favour the crown or the appellant?

    2. According to many sources on the internet there are hints of issues concerning this case that will shock the English criminal justice system to the core.

        • This case has gone to appeal because there are serious issues to be discussed, a flippant reply like this is inappropriate.

    3. Maybe the fact that 4 years after the conviction people still have such strong and contrasting views on this case shows that it wasn’t so clear cut in the first place.

      Many people disagreed with the conviction. If it gets overturned many will disagree with that too. It’s a lose lose situation. He’s done the time, she’s had her life ruined. (In my opinion more by the “case” than the actual sex act itself) . No real winners here.

      • The householder who shot two retreating burglars in the back of the nth time of being burgled was convicted and his conviction divided opinion many people disagreed with the decision to prosecute him. That however does not mean it wasn’t clear cut. Ched Evans’ case is clear cut there’s something else at play here why public opinion is polarised.

        • There is nothing “clear cut” about this case at all, that’s why its been referred back to the courts. There is a lot more to tell, and evidence which the defence did not use at trial so its alleged. Having said that the system seems to protect judges and juries from their mistakes, so lets see what the outcome is before going down the line you usually take.

          • My line is zero tolerance of rape in all it’s various guises and that will always be my stance and there is no ifs or buts or grey area caveat to follow.

        • Seems strange that you claim it was clear cut.

          For example, the victim in the case never once claimed that she was raped, all she has ever said is that she can’t remember what happened – it was the police that decided that she was raped…..

          That in itself is pretty unusual.

        • Seems strange that you claim it was clear cut.
          For example, the victim in the case never once claimed that she was raped, all she has ever said is that she can’t remember what happened – it was the police that decided that she was raped…..
          That in itself is pretty unusual

          • Rape is about what the rapist did to the victim. She had no recollection of what happened the rapist however was convicted by witness evidence, CCTV, his own evidence, the evidence of his mate and his brother when they attempted to film the victim, without her knowledge or consent, through a window. Nothing unusual it’s what rapists do, and then they deny it.

            • The only witness of what happened in that room was Ched Evans’ friend, who says the sex was fully consensual – there were no other witnesses.

              There was CCTV footage of the girl appearing drunk and unsteady on her feet in a kebab shop, however there was CCTV footage at a later time where she looked perfectly fine entering the hotel, putting down a pizza and paying the taxi with the correct change and then entering the hotel unaided in anyway and not looking drunk at all

              The attempt to film Evans having intercourse inside the room was in no way used as evidence of rape, I’ve no idea where you got that from, it’s proof of disgraceful behavior but in shape or form is proof of rape.

              The girl said she had not drunk that much that night and a sample of her blood did not reveal an elevated blood alcohol level or evidence of a date rape drug etc…

              I’m not defending Evans, but this is certainly a controversial case, I’ve seen several articles by lawyers which have questioned the verdict

    4. @Barzini

      1) It is not acceptable to film anybody having sex, male or female, without their explicit consent.
      2) There was evidence from both Ched Evans and Clayton McDonald about what happened in that room and they couldn’t agree what happened or whether she consented
      3) How did the ppl filming into the room know there’d be anything to film?
      4) The judge was clear that the CCTV footage showed the extent of how drunk the victim was she fell over flat on her back in the kebab shop and left her handbag there (not the selected stop motion frames put on Ched’s website)
      5) they attempted to invite another girl back to that room for an “after party” she refused. Suggesting they were on the prowl for someone to **** irrespective of her state of competence
      6) there was no luggage in the room it was intended as a room for “shagging”
      7) Rape aside, for a moment, WHAT sort of man has sex with a woman who is in that state

      I’m anti rape there is nothing wrong with consensual drunken sex.

      • 1) Of course it’s not acceptable. However, Evans wasn’t doing the filming, and such filming in no way makes one guilty of rape.
        2) This doesn’t make them guilty of rape.
        3) Because Evans was expecting to have sex with the girl his friend had picked up – this isn’t a crime.
        4) The CCTV footage certainly did show a drunk girl – as I said there is other CCTV footage of her not looking so drunk.
        5) Of course they were looking for sex, that was the whole point to their night out – this isn’t a crime.
        6) Of course the room was intended for shagging – this isn’t a crime.
        7) Have you been to places like Ibiza, have you been on practically any high street on a Saturday night – young people get wasted and have consensual drunk sex all the time.

        Of your seven points, only point 4 could be considered evidence of the possibility of rape occurring (ie sex with a girl who was too drunk to consent)

        Basically you’re saying they sent a man to jail for five years because of a bit of CCTV footage from a kebab shop.

        • 3) Evans entered that room expecting sex fueled by the male sense of entitlement, consent was irrelevant. That’s rape – a crime. Hence go to jail.

          4) & 6) According to Ched Evans’ own testimony he lied to get the key to allow him entry to that room. He admittted he lied so he could have access to a woman. He did not have her consent enter the room or be there when she was naked. Already an assault.

          Therefore he’s in the hotel with a drunken women without her consent with the intention of having sex without her. That’s rape.

          Thank you and good night.

          • 3) Entering a room expecting to have sex isn’t even close to being a crime.

            4) Lying to get into a room where two people are having sex in the hope of joining in isn’t rape, it’s not even close to being rape.

            I am genuinely petrified that someone like you could be on a jury one day.

            • That’s because you try to normalise rape you had better be afraid because what Ched did was rape and if you have ever done the same so are you.

            • Entering a room with the intention of having sex, and doing so even though your victim is in no fit state to consent IS rape.

              This is what the prosecution proved to the satisfaction of a unanimous jury. Also to the satisfaction of two subsequent appeal courts and 4 appeal court judges.

              The “other” video you refer to is not video, it is a sequence of still images at a rate of 1 frame per second – also highly edited (many sections cut out). It is not possible to determine drunkenness from still images. It is possible to determine it from the other video, the eye witness statements, and other factors.

    5. As I understand things it goes beyond what did, or didn’t happen in the hotel room. There are accusations of criminal behaviour by people connected to the case, possible police corruption, hints of a cover-up, political correctness overriding natural justice and the due course of law, the jury delivering a perverse verdict…as well as incompetence at every stage of the process.

      • Rape is a crime. Political correctness is nothing to do with this and Ched Evans is no-one worth risking a career over he’s a just a slightly above average footballer.

        • I don’t have a career to put at risk. I’m only concerned about the truth and justice…and understand that there will be long lasting consequences as a result of the way this case has been handled. There are issues that were not brought up in court [and I will not be mentioning on here].

          • What consequences? Ched admitted he did not have consent to be in that room and that he did not ask the girl he raped for her consent to sex and nor did he ascertain that she was in any fit state to consent. That’s rape.

            • The question of rape in this case boils down to whether the sex with the girl was consensual (ie did he ask and did she say yes) and whether she was legally capable of consent (ie was she too drunk)

              With the exception of the kebab shop CCTV footage, you have not provided one iota of information which would help anyone make a decision either way – it terrifies me that you seem to be so convinced of what happened that night

            • Consequences? Well, the fact that a third party can be a complainant without the permission of the alleged victim…do you not see a problem with this?

              The law as it is applied to being able to give consent, a possible review of police procedures and guidelines given to judges and juries, the law of joint enterprise, the wisdom of holding a joint trial.

              There are probably more.

            • Evans claimed that he asked the girl if ‘he could join in’ and that she replied affirmatively and asked him ‘to go down on her’ – his friend supports this, the girl says she can’t remember

              Of course he could be lying, but I’m still failing to see why you are so sure of what happened that night

    6. Let me help you both.

      Was the victim too drunk to consent = yes
      Did Ched Evans have her consent = No

      Absence of consent equals rape. That’s right it’s rape.

        • And you are wrong. It was a straightforward case decided by a unanimous jury convinced by evidence some of which is not in the public domain.

          2 appeal courts and 4 appeal judges also convinced.

          It is absolutely correct for police to prosecute for rape if they think that is what happened – even if the victim cannot remember. Just as they must for murder, when the victim is also not able to testify.

          • There are concerns that important evidence/information wasn’t put to the jury. Evidence, that if true…and I don’t know if it’s true, might have resulted in a different verdict…and if it were to placed in the public domain would uncover a pattern of ‘behaviour’ which would make people question why the footballers were even put on trial in the first place. Merely dismissing these concerns and concentrating only on the trial is absurd.

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