Ched Evans, Clayton McDonald rape trial: Footballer 'caddish but not guilty'

Ched Evans (left) and Clayton McDonald at Caernarfon Crown Court
Image caption Ched Evans (left) and Clayton McDonald at Caernarfon Crown Court

A barrister for one of two footballers accused of raping a 19-year-old woman says he may have behaved in a "caddish" way but is not guilty of the offence.

Port Vale defender Clayton McDonald and Wales and Sheffield United striker Ched Evans, both 23, deny rape at a Premier Inn near Rhyl, Denbighshire.

Lloyd Morgan, defending Mr McDonald, said the woman had approached him and was "capable of making decisions".

The prosecution at Caernarfon Crown Court say she was too drunk to consent.

The judge has begun summing up in the case and has indicated that the jury will be sent out on Friday.

Mr Morgan said it was not the case that the woman was too drunk to consent to sex, and that the prosecution wanted to show the friends were on a "mission" to get a girl at all costs.

Mr Morgan told the jury in his closing speech: "When you have a look at the evidence this grand conspiracy theory just doesn't add up."

'Morally repugnant'

Mr Evans, originally from St Asaph, Denbighshire, and now of Penistone, South Yorkshire, and Mr McDonald, of Crewe, Cheshire, admit having sex with the woman on 30 May, 2011 but say it was consensual.

Previously, the court heard that Mr Evans, whose mother lives in Rhyl, had invited Mr McDonald and others for a bank holiday night out in the seaside town on 29 May.

Because there was not enough space at Mr Evans' mother's house, Mr Evans had booked Mr McDonald into the hotel in Rhuddlan.

The court heard that Mr McDonald met the woman and took her back to the room, sending a text to Mr Evans stating he had "got a bird".

During Mr Evans' evidence, he told the jury that he had gone to the hotel, let himself into Mr McDonald's room and watched his friend and the woman having sex.

He said Mr McDonald asked if his friend could "get involved", to which the woman said yes. Mr McDonald later left the room.

The court previously heard that the woman - now aged 20 - told police she woke up naked and confused in a double bed following the alleged rape.

She added that she had no memory of travelling to the Premier Inn and feared her drinks were spiked.

Continuing his closing speech on Thursday, Mr McDonald's barrister said his client may have behaved in a "caddish" manner when he left the bedroom at the hotel as his friend had sex with the woman.

'Memory loss'

He said the jury might find his behaviour "morally repugnant," but that did not make him guilty of rape, Mr Morgan added.

He told the court that the woman approached Mr McDonald on a street corner in Rhyl.

"He didn't do anything to her she didn't want to be involved in and she was completely capable of making decisions," he said.

He asked the jury: "Are Clayton McDonald and Ched Evans the predators the prosecution would have you believe?"

Continuing the defence summing up, David Fish QC, for Mr Evans, said it was likely the woman was not being frank about her memory of the events in May 2011.

Mr Fish said: "Even if it's a genuine loss of memory it doesn't mean necessarily she didn't consent at the time."

Mr Fish said she went willingly into the hotel.

But the prosecution say she was in no state to consent to sex.

The case continues.

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