North East Wales

Ched Evans rape trial: 10 named woman on social media

Ched Evans leaves court with his fiancee Natasha Massey Image copyright Wales News Service
Image caption Ched Evans was accompanied to court by his fiancee Natasha Massey during his retrial

Ten men who revealed the identity of the woman involved in footballer Ched Evans' rape trial have been cautioned.

The Chesterfield striker was cleared of rape at a retrial in 2016. He had been charged with attacking the woman in a hotel room in Rhyl, Denbighshire.

Following the retrial, North Wales Police investigated after the woman's name was revealed on social media.

Anyone who reports being a victim of a sex offence is guaranteed lifelong anonymity.

North Wales Police's temporary Supt Jason Devonport said the publishing of her name was a "serious" offence.

The men, aged between 16 and 23, were from the Sheffield, Derbyshire and Birmingham areas.

'Respect anonymity'

All were cautioned after admitting publishing the name of the woman - who has lifelong anonymity under the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 1992 - after the retrial verdict.

Supt Devonport said: "This type of offence is fortunately rare, however, I'd like to emphasise all police forces take offences of this nature very seriously.

"We will vigorously pursue and prosecute those who don't respect victims' anonymity."

In November 2012 - following the initial trial - nine people were made to pay compensation to the woman after they admitted naming her on Twitter and Facebook.

Mr Evans, 28, was originally found guilty of rape at Caernarfon Crown Court in 2012, but that conviction was quashed in April 2016. A retrial jury found him not guilty of the offence six months later.

The Chesterfield striker had been charged with attacking her at a hotel on 30 May 2011.

He was found not guilty of the same charge, after a retrial at Cardiff Crown Court, in October 2016.

Mr Evans' former club Sheffield United announced this week it was to re-sign him.

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