Sunday, 16 October 2016

Ched Evans acquittal

In September 2015, the case of Chedwyn ("Ched") Evans was referred to the Court of Appeal by the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) - read the CCRC statement.

On 21st April 2016, the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) - Hallett LJ, Flaux J and Sir David Maddison - allowed an appeal by Mr Evans against his conviction for rape.  The Court of Appeal ordered a retrial - judgment.   The reasons for quashing the conviction were subject to reporting restrictions until the conclusion of the retrial.   The retrial was held at the Crown Court sitting in Cardiff and, on 14th October 2016, Mr Evans was acquitted.

The key piece of legislation
used by Mr Evans' defence was section 41 of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 (an explanatory notes).  Essentially, section 41 sets out the very limited circumstances in which courts may allow evidence to be admitted or questions asked about the complainant's sexual behaviour.

The serious offence of rape is defined in section 1 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003.

In a very good article, The Secret Barrister blog deals with 10 myths about the case.  I recommend a careful and full reading of the article.

The leading judicial authority on section 41 is the House of Lords in R v A (No.2) [2001] UKHL 25.

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