One of Cambridgeshire's oddest traditions gets under way this morning...
Appeal Granted In Ched Evans Rape Case
The rape case of former Sheffield United player Ched Evans is going to the court of appeal.
He was convicted of attacking a 19-year-old woman in a hotel back in 2012. and served half of a 5 years sentence.
He's always maintained his innocence, and hasn't played since.
The Criminal Cases Review Commission says the referral has been made on the basis of new information not raised at trial which it believes could have added support to Evans's defence.
There is "a real possibility that the Court of Appeal may now quash the conviction'', it added.
Commission chair Richard Foster said:
"The decision of the commission is not a judgment on guilt or innocence in relation to Ched Evans, nor is it a judgment about the honesty or integrity of the victim or any other person involved in the case.
"Our role is to consider applications to see if, in our judgment, there is any basis on which to ask the court to hear a fresh appeal - that is our statutory responsibility.
"In this case we have identified new material which was not considered by the jury at trial and which, in our view, might have assisted the defence. In those circumstances, it is right and proper for the matter to be before the court so that they can decide whether or not the new information should affect the verdict in this case.''
A statement on the Ched Evans campaign's website says:
"Ched and those who closely support him have always maintained that he was wrongly convicted and, using new information that was not presented at his trial, we expect that in time his conviction will be quashed.
"The decision to refer Ched's case is welcomed by all who know the true facts and Ched would like to thank all those who have supported him since his conviction in April 2012 and his subsequent release from prison in October 2014.
"In particular the support he received from football fans from many clubs kept his spirits high in the most difficult of circumstances but in particular the support from the many Sheffield United fans who stayed in contact with him.''
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