North East Wales

Ched Evans rape case: Tenth person fined for naming victim

Ched Evans
Image caption Former footballer Evans was convicted of rape in April 2012

A woman who named a woman raped by Wales and Sheffield United footballer Ched Evans has been told to pay more than £1,600 in fines, costs and compensation.

Alexandra Hewitt, 24, from Broughton, Chester admitted identifying the 19-year-old woman on Facebook or Twitter.

She changed her initial not guilty plea before Prestatyn magistrates on Monday.

Last November nine others pleaded guilty to identifying the woman and each told to pay her £624 compensation.

Striker Evans, from Rhyl, was jailed for five years last April for the offence carried out at a Premier Inn in Denbighshire in May 2011.

The charge against Hewitt was brought under the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 1992 which grants victims of rape and alleged rape anonymity for life

'Old friends'

Hewitt was fined £405 and, like the other nine defendants, ordered to pay £624 compensation to the woman, who has since changed her name and left the Rhyl area.

She was also ordered to pay costs of £600 and a victim surcharge of £15.

Prosecuting, Anna Pope said that on the day Evans was convicted at Caernarfon Crown Court various posts appeared on Twitter and Facebook.

Hewitt herself commented on Facebook: "I think she should be allowed to be named. Unbelievable."

When interviewed, she said she and Evans were "old friends" but she did not know the victim.

"She accepted that her comments were inappropriate but did not know that what she had done was illegal," said Miss Pope.

"She was sorry for any stress caused."

Adam Antoszkics, defending, said Hewitt had initially denied the charge because of a question over whether comments sent only to friends on Facebook constituted public comments.

Having obtained clarification it was now clear that an offence had been committed, he said.

District Judge Andrew Shaw, who previously sentenced the other two women and seven men who named the rape victim, said the only penalty open to him was a fine.

"You identified a victim of rape without considering the consequences and without a full understanding of exactly what you were doing," he told Hewitt.

In November, Evans lost his appeal against his rape conviction.

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