Footballer Ched Evans is expected to be released from prison after serving half of a five-year sentence handed him for raping a 19-year-old woman in a hotel.
Evans, who denied the offence, was jailed in April 2012 following the incident in Rhyl, North Wales. The 25-year-old Welsh international admitted having sex with the woman who told the jury she had no memory of the incident. His release puts fresh pressure on his former club, Sheffield United, to say whether he will be allowed to play for them again.
Earlier this week, manager Nigel Clough said: “We have had one or two discussions, we are awaiting a decision and the owners will make that in good time.” Almost 150,000 people have signed an online petition urging the Bramall Lane club not to welcome him back, but many fans have called for him to be rehabilitated.
The prosecution said the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was too drunk to consent to sexual intercourse. Port Vale defender Clayton McDonald also admitted having sex with the victim but was found not guilty of the same charge. Earlier this week TV presenter, Judy Finnigan apologised after she said on the ITV show Loose Women that his crime was “not violent” and did not cause “bodily harm.”
Evans’s case is due to be looked at by the Criminal Case Review Commission in the coming weeks. The striker scored 48 goals in 113 games for Sheffield United before his imprisonment, including 35 in 42 games during the 2011/12 campaign which was cut short for him due to his trial and conviction. He has been capped 13 times for Wales.