By Jonathan Copping, Lawyer, Stone King, London, UK
Ched Evans, the thirty-year old Welsh footballer, who was jailed in 2012 for the rape of a 19-year old female in a hotel, only to have his conviction quashed by the Court of Appeal and a retrial ordered, has settled his professional negligence claim against his former lawyers.
In 2011, Evans was arrested for the rape of a female in a Premier Inn in Rhyl, North Wales. He was convicted on 20 April 2012 and sentenced to five years’ imprisonment, although he was eligible to be released on licence after serving half of his sentence.
Following his release on licence in 2014, the Criminal Cases Review Commission announced that it was reviewing the sentence and following a 10-month investigation, during which Evans submitted new evidence to the Commission, it was announced, in October 2015, that the case would be referred to the Court of Appeal.
In 2016, the Court of Appeal quashed the conviction and ordered a retrial. The retrial took place in October 2016 in Cardiff Crown Court and Evans was found not-guilty. The retrial lasted for eight days and Evans was acquitted after the jury deliberated for a mere two hours.
In late 2016, it was reported that Evans had commenced legal proceedings against his former lawyers, Brabners, a well-known UK sports law firm, claiming that they had mishandled his case, in an attempt to recover the millions of pounds that he had lost as a result of his conviction in 2012. At the time Evans was arrested in 2011, it was reported that he was earning £18,000 per week, playing for Sheffield United in League One in England.
Evans’ claim, which was strongly denied by Brabners, was due to be heard in the High Court this month; however, he has now reached an out-of-court settlement, believed to be a six-figure sum. In fact, it was reported, on 10 April 2019, in the British newspaper ‘The Guardian’ that Evans has settled his claim for a sum in the region of £800,000.
Upon being released from prison in 2016, Evans signed a contract with Chesterfield, following which he returned to Sheffield United in 2017. He is currently on loan at League One club Fleetwood Town.
A sad tale of a miscarriage of justice, which, unfortunately, happens from time to time!
Jonathan Copping may be contacted by e-mail at ‘JonathanCopping@stoneking.co.uk’