An open letter to Jess Phillips MP and colleagues on Ched Evans

The Secret Barrister

Dear Jess and colleagues

I read with interest your letter today to the Attorney General, in which you expressed some concerns about the operation of the law in the Ched Evans case, and made some suggestions as to how the law on using a complainant’s past sexual history might be changed. I hope you don’t mind me writing to you in this open letter format; Ched Evans has become, somewhat unintentionally, a source of particular interest for me over the past week, and I have some observations that I hope will inform your campaign.

I write, I should make clear, in the spirit of solidarity. You and I are on the same team. I agree wholeheartedly with what lies at the heart of your campaign; that is the fundamental right of complainants, particularly in cases of sexual abuse, to be treated with dignity and respect in criminal court proceedings. Giving evidence, any barrister will agree, is…

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10 myths busted about the Ched Evans case

The Secret Barrister

Footballer Ched Evans was today acquitted after a retrial of one count of rape. The jury at Cardiff Crown Court returned a unanimous verdict of not guilty, Mr Evans’ solicitor read out a statement on his client’s behalf to the gawping media on the court steps in the time-honoured fashion and, within seconds, social media duly exploded with more speculation, myths, distortions and unjustified fury than one might suppose 140 characters could contain.

Ched Evans was a star player at Sheffield United.

The facts, as reported, can be briefly summarised: Ched Evans was originally tried with a co-defendant, and fellow footballer, Clayton McDonald, in April 2012. On 29 May 2011, Evans and McDonald had sex with the complainant, X, in a hotel room. McDonald had met X on a night out, taken her back to the hotel room, and had alerted Evans that he had “got a girl”. Evans duly arrived, made his way to the room and, seeing McDonald…

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