I heard about the case of Mr Ched Evans this morning for the first time. Mr Evans made the news because he was convicted of rape, served two and a half years out of a five year sentence and has been released. he wants to return to his job. If Mr Evans was a bricklayer or a plasterer there would not be an outcry about his returning to his work. If Mr Evans were a school teacher or a solicitor it is clear that he should not return to his work but seek other work because jobs of that kind involve contact with people with whom it will be undesirable for a convicted rapist to be in contact.
However, Mr Evans is a professional footballer. Many argue that he should be deprived of his ability to earn a living because footballers are role models, and he is a bad role model. I think that argument is nonsense. If society is foolish enough to regard people who can play football or tiddlywinks very well as people to praise and emulate, that is society’s fault, not the fault of a young man who happens to have enough skill to earn a living by playing football. Football is not a mixed sport. Professional footballers do not have to come into contact with women as part of their work.
I reached the view that Mr Evans should not be prevented from playing professional football, and that the pressure groups who are trying to prevent him from resuming his football career were unjust. The man has served his time and should start with a clean slate. Anyway that was what i was going to write when i picked this topic this morning.
I thought, however, it well to do some research about the crime of which Mr Evans has been convicted. I came across, in the course of my research http://chedevans.com/ which is a website maintained by Mr Evans or his friends. I read it carefully. Of course, I have only read one side of the story but there is enough on that website to give me serious doubts about the safety of Mr Evans’ conviction for rape.
Mr Evans’s conviction was proved beyond reasonable doubt before a jury. It was not proved beyond any doubt. To overturn the conviction Mr Evans must prove that the conviction was unsafe beyond any doubt. It will be a high standard of proof. he has already lost an appeal and is now going through a review process which may lead to the quashing of the conviction.
The facts of the conviction are, in my view, sufficiently disturbing for me to hope that his case will be reviewed by the court. From the undisputed facts of the case there are strong indications that the whole truth has not come out.