Ched Evans cleared of rape in retrial

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    (Original post by Bornblue)
    Ignoring whether or not what Ched did was criminal, the whole sequence of events just shows the dangerous mindset many people have.

    He saw a girl slumped on the floor in a kebab shop and then decided that he should join his friend in having sex with her while his brother and mate filmed it. He treated her like a piece of meat.

    He may not have raped her but I have no sympathy at all for him given how he made so many dreadful choices that night out of his own doing and treated the girl with such little dignity and respect.
    His mate did the almost the same thing and yet receives virtually no condemnation for it. Surely they're both as bad as each other?
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    (Original post by dtin)
    His mate did the almost the same thing and yet receives virtually no condemnation for it. Surely they're both as bad as each other?
    Certainly but less so than Evans. McDonald had at least spoke to her beforehand and she agreed to go back with him. It wasn't him who decided to film it either.

    Evans however turned up uninvited, having never spoken to the girl and started to have sex with her without using a condom without asking or saying a word to her, while he asked his friends to film it.
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    (Original post by Bornblue)
    This keeps being said. No one is ever found innocent, our criminal justice system doesn't work like that.

    Being found not guilty simply means that on the basis of the evidence put forward that the jury were not sure beyond all reasonable doubt that you are guilty.

    If the jury thinks a defendant is probably guilty, they must acquit.

    We don't know what the jury felt, perhaps they felt he was completely innocent, perhaps they felt he was probably guilty but there was some lingering doubt. Perhaps somewhere in between.

    The reality is we don't know what they thought other than the fact he was not guilty beyond all reasonable doubt.

    No one is ever found innocent, that's not how the criminal justice system works.
    If there isn't evidence to prosecute then he goes free therefore innocent.




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    (Original post by paul514)
    If there isn't evidence to prosecute then he goes free therefore innocent.




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    Sigh.

    Again, that is not how our criminal justice system works. Not guilty does not mean innocent, it means that the jury were not convinced of your guilt beyond all reasonable doubt.
    A jury is never asked to be sure of someone's innocence.

    Even if the jury thinks it is 80% likely that he is guilty, they must acquit.
    That is not the same as being innocent.
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    (Original post by Bornblue)
    Sigh.

    Again, that is not how our criminal justice system works. Not guilty does not mean innocent, it means that the jury were not convinced of your guilt beyond all reasonable doubt.
    A jury is never asked to be sure of someone's innocence.

    Even if the jury thinks it is 80% likely that he is guilty, they must acquit.
    That is not the same as being innocent.
    Innocent until proven guilty

    Sigh all you like


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    (Original post by paul514)
    Innocent until proven guilty

    Sigh all you like


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    Except that's a mantra, a saying - not a legal position.

    There is no legally innocent, only not guilty. No one is ever found innocent.
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    (Original post by Bornblue)
    I agree that both are victims to an extent.

    I just find it hard to have sympathy for someone who was so stupid and needlessly put himself into a situation which which was so obviously dodgy.

    Drunk sex happens, of course it does and there is nothing wrong with it. However when the girl is so drunk that she was on the floor in a kebab shop and falling and stumbling over, a lightbulb should have turned on in cheds head.

    I bet you, like me and most males has been in a situation where a girl who is incredibly drunk and falling over is coming on to you. It's not necessarily the case that having sex would be rape and perhaps they may even want to in their very drunken state but I'm sure like me, you've used a bit of common sense and not put yourself into a dodgy situation.

    That's all Ched needed to do, just show the slightest bit of common sense. If you walked into a room uninvited to see your friend having sex with a very drunk girl that you had never met or spoke to and that you earlier saw on the floor of a kebab shop would you have sex with her?

    I'm not saying it would necessarily be rape but it wouldn't be incredibly stupid and I wouldn't have little sympathy for people so needlessly putting themselves into that situation.


    I hope both of them can now move on with their lives.
    But could you not say it's also needless and stupid to get yourself so drunk that you end up in the situation she found herself in? Both people could have exerted some self control and averted this situation but neither did, both made bad decisions that led to this outcome


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    (Original post by Underscore__)
    But could you not say it's also needless and stupid to get yourself so drunk that you end up in the situation she found herself in? Both people could have exerted some self control and averted this situation but neither did, both made bad decisions that led to this outcome


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    I agree, she shouldn't have let herself get so uncontrollably drunk.

    That's not to say she deserved this but everyone should ensure that they remain in control of themselves.

    The reason I have more sympathy with her is because despite her mistakes, she was taken advantage of (not saying she was raped) and Evans and McDonald really should have acted better in that situation. It makes my stomach churn to think that Evans got his friend and brother to film him and McDonald having sex with a girl like she was a piece of meat.

    I know if I saw a girl that drunk that she was falling over I'd stick her in a taxi home and I know you would too.

    It just isn't worth risking it.
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    (Original post by Bornblue)
    I agree, she shouldn't have let herself get so uncontrollably drunk.

    That's not to say she deserved this but everyone should ensure that they remain in control of themselves.

    The reason I have more sympathy with her is because despite her mistakes, she was taken advantage of (not saying she was raped) and Evans and McDonald really should have acted better in that situation. It makes my stomach churn to think that Evans got his friend and brother to film him and McDonald having sex with a girl like she was a piece of meat.

    I know if I saw a girl that drunk that she was falling over I'd stick her in a taxi home and I know you would too.

    It just isn't worth risking it.
    But it's like I said, both parties acted irresponsibly and this is the outcome. She has received criticism from some people and even worse from a smaller group of people but the mass public disdain and hatred isn't something she'll have to carry with her for the rest of her life. While there haven't been reports of death threats directly to Evans the pro-'victim' camp did make death threats to staff at Oldham when they were in talks to sign him prior to his conviction being quashed. She got drunk, was irresponsible and it led to her being seriously taken advantage of. He got drunk, was irresponsible and it led to him being jailed and having a tarnished reputation.

    It's a sorry occurrence that should now be put in the past but needless to say it won't be


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    (Original post by Underscore__)
    But it's like I said, both parties acted irresponsibly and this is the outcome. She has received criticism from some people and even worse from a smaller group of people but the mass public disdain and hatred isn't something she'll have to carry with her for the rest of her life. While there haven't been reports of death threats directly to Evans the pro-'victim' camp did make death threats to staff at Oldham when they were in talks to sign him prior to his conviction being quashed. She got drunk, was irresponsible and it led to her being seriously taken advantage of. He got drunk, was irresponsible and it led to him being jailed and having a tarnished reputation.

    It's a sorry occurrence that should now be put in the past but needless to say it won't be


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    Absolutely.
    Two important lessons.
    People shouldn't allow themselves to get so drunk that they have lost control of themselves.
    People also should not take advanage of people who are so incredibly drunk.

    I just cannot see how a lightbulb did not flash in Ched's head. How at some point he didn't realise what a terrible idea it was. If someone is so drunk that they are falling over it just is not worth risking it.


    What Evans did wasn't criminal but his actions were nonetheless awful. The complainant wasn't irresponsible, Evans was disgusting by taking advantage of a very drunk girl and getting his friend to film it. (which makes me have less sympathy for him)

    It's one of those cases where everyone loses.
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    (Original post by Bornblue)
    The reason I have more sympathy with her is because despite her mistakes, she was taken advantage of (not saying she was raped) and Evans and McDonald really should have acted better in that situation. It makes my stomach churn to think that Evans got his friend and brother to film him and McDonald having sex with a girl like she was a piece of meat.
    The brother thing was one of the oddest parts; it seems gross to me.

    In terms of drunkenness (and putatively promiscuous or "provocative" attire), I always flip it around and think about what the attitude would be to a male. Think of a situation where a woman is blind drunk, wearing skimpy clothing and walking home late at night; two guys sidle up to her, start chatting her up, try to insinuate themselves into her good graces with false bonhomie and when she doesn't reciprocate their sexual advances, they rape her. Many people would blame her for what happened and say that, while of course they don't condone the rape, that 'but for' (to lean on a legalism) her actions she would not have suffered the crime.

    Now think of a situation with a male. He was at a buck's party where he got extremely drunk. He lost his shirt, maybe he's even been stripped down to his boxer shorts through some prank. He's trying to get home, stumbling through the streets. Two men come up to him and start chatting to him, adopt a convivial affectation and then come on to him; when he resists they rape him. Who in the latter situation could fail to feel anything but sympathy for the victim and disgust for the rapists?

    Even I have that residual sense that somehow the level of 'blameworthiness' is different; that the guy is somehow more innocent. That's an artifact of ingrained cultural sexism and attitudes to rape, but I think putting the scenarios side-by-side gives you a sense of just how tainted are societal attitudes when it comes to apportioning blame for sexual offences of this sort.
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    (Original post by Bornblue)
    Absolutely.
    Two important lessons.
    People shouldn't allow themselves to get so drunk that they have lost control of themselves.
    People also should not take advanage of people who are so incredibly drunk.

    I just cannot see how a lightbulb did not flash in Ched's head. How at some point he didn't realise what a terrible idea it was. If someone is so drunk that they are falling over it just is not worth risking it.


    What Evans did wasn't criminal but his actions were nonetheless awful. The complainant wasn't irresponsible, Evans was disgusting by taking advantage of a very drunk girl and getting his friend to film it. (which makes me have less sympathy for him)

    It's one of those cases where everyone loses.
    I assume he didn't have the lightbulb moment because he was also very drunk but I guess it's easy to speculate.


    Drinking to the point that you end up alone, falling over in kebab shop and going back to a random guys hotel room and then blacking out is irresponsible but any objective measure.


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    (Original post by Underscore__)
    I assume he didn't have the lightbulb moment because he was also very drunk but I guess it's easy to speculate.


    Drinking to the point that you end up alone, falling over in kebab shop and going back to a random guys hotel room and then blacking out is irresponsible but any objective measure.


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    Sorry that was a typo. Meant to say she WAS irresponsible in getting so uncontrollably drunk.

    I think the reason he didn't was also, as he admitted, that he thought becaue he was a footballer that he could sleep with any girl he wanted to.
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    (Original post by Underscore__)
    I assume he didn't have the lightbulb moment because he was also very drunk but I guess it's easy to speculate.
    He was alert enough to know he had to lie in order to get the room key and to do so. He was alert enough to go 'Oh, my girlfriend might phone' in the middle of sex with someone else.

    It'd also hurt his 'reasonable belief' defence if he went 'Yeah, I was too pissed to think clearly...'

    Drinking to the point that you end up alone, falling over in kebab shop and going back to a random guys hotel room and then blacking out is irresponsible but any objective measure.
    This is coming perilously close to blaming her.
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    (Original post by Bornblue)
    The reality is we don't know what they thought other than the fact he was not guilty beyond all reasonable doubt.

    No one is ever found innocent, that's not how the criminal justice system works.
    Just to jump in, I mentioned the word innocent and I thought someone might pull me up so I considered this.

    He has been found 'not guilty', as you say. But our system of justice is "innocent until proven guilty", and so surely as a matter of technicality he is "innocent" of any crime? As you rightly say, there is no such legal status as "innocence", but he is in effect (and must be treated as) innocent of the crime of which he was accused.

    From a broader social/moral position, does this not apply doubly? We have to give the benefit of the doubt to those jurors who gave many hours/days of their time and were in a position to view and consider all the evidence. He was found "not guilty", but the legal/moral consequence is that he is to be considered innocent.

    I think the moral quality you imply into the "not guilty" verdict is perhaps almost more analogous to the Scottish "not proven" verdict (not in the legal sense, but in the sense of moral implications)
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    (Original post by unprinted)
    It'd also hurt his 'reasonable belief' defence if he went 'Yeah, I was too pissed to think clearly...'
    Perhaps, but perhaps not. If he was too pissed to think clearly he might (and Bornblue may have a more informed opinion than mine on this particular issue) have lacked the necessary mens rea?

    For example, if both people were so drunk that they could not validly render consent, a rape cannot occur because the incapacity that prevents someone from consenting is also the mental incapacity that would prevent them from forming the necessary mens rea?

    And remember "reasonable belief" is a subjective test with an objective element. If he was completely sober then it would probably be harder to justify claiming he had a 'reasonable' (in the circumstances) belief in her consent. At least, intoxication might help to establish that he possessed the subjective belief in her consent and of course the jury then decides that is objectively reasonable in the circumstances
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    There are crimes where voluntary intoxication can be a mitigation, but rape and sexual assault generally are 'basic intent' crimes and you can't go 'I didn't have the mens rae, I was pissed' for those. See R v Woods (1982) 74 Cr App R 312 for what happened to someone who tried.
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    (Original post by AlexanderHam)
    Just to jump in, I mentioned the word innocent and I thought someone might pull me up so I considered this.

    He has been found 'not guilty', as you say. But our system of justice is "innocent until proven guilty", and so surely as a matter of technicality he is "innocent" of any crime? As you rightly say, there is no such legal status as "innocence", but he is in effect (and must be treated as) innocent of the crime of which he was accused.

    From a broader social/moral position, does this not apply doubly? We have to give the benefit of the doubt to those jurors who gave many hours/days of their time and were in a position to view and consider all the evidence. He was found "not guilty", but the legal/moral consequence is that he is to be considered innocent.

    I think the moral quality you imply into the "not guilty" verdict is perhaps almost more analogous to the Scottish "not proven" verdict (not in the legal sense, but in the sense of moral implications)
    I guess it's a matter of semantics really.
    No jury can even 'find' or 'establish' someone's 'innocence' in the literal sense of the word as juries are never asked whether the defendant is innocent.

    They are simply asked if they feel the defendant is guilty beyond all reasonable doubt. Being not guilty does not mean that they are necessarily innocent. We don't know what the jury thought. They may have thought he was completely innocent or they may have thought he was probably guilty. either way they could not convict if there is any reasonable doubt at all.

    I guess we could say we should 'presume' his innocence but that is different from his innocence having been proved.

    The phrase 'innocent until proven guilty' is in reality 'presumed innocent until proven guilty'.
    Subtle but important difference.
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    (Original post by Bornblue)
    The phrase 'innocent until proven guilty' is in reality 'presumed innocent until proven guilty'.
    Subtle but important difference.
    This is a good point, and I suppose it touches on this duality of law and fact; a kind of Schrodinger's Cat of guilt (to use a crude and perhaps slightly inappropriate analogy). Someone can be found "not guilty" by operation of law and yet be guilty of the crime as a matter of fact.

    No jury can even 'find' or 'establish' someone's 'innocence' in the literal sense of the word as juries are never asked whether the defendant is innocent.
    Of course. And in fact if there was any indisputable evidence at hand that could establish their innocence then they probably wouldn't have been charged. This does raise an interesting question, though; as a matter of morality/sociality is it permissible for a citizen to question an acquittal? If you believe someone is indisputably guilty, that their acquittal is the wrong verdict and a guilty man has gone free, is it permissible morally to advocate that position or is it only permissible to advocate someone's innocence? I don't know the answer to this. Something to ponder on.
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    (Original post by unprinted)
    He was alert enough to know he had to lie in order to get the room key and to do so. He was alert enough to go 'Oh, my girlfriend might phone' in the middle of sex with someone else.

    It'd also hurt his 'reasonable belief' defence if he went 'Yeah, I was too pissed to think clearly...'
    I've been very drunk yet still managed lie my way through things and you have to question a hotel manager that would give somebody a room key despite not being authorised by the person who checked in.

    (Original post by unprinted)
    This is coming perilously close to blaming her.
    Both parties are to blame for what happened and both people have subsequently become victims. So to make it clear I suppose I'm blaming both people.
 
 
 
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