Former weekly editor claims role in Ched Evans rape retrial acquittal

Exonerated footballer Ched Evans. Picture: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

A former weekly editor has claimed a role in helping to clear footballer Ched Evans who was found not guilty of rape after a retrial last week.

Former Matlock Mercury editor Don Hale has said he spent four years working to prove Evans’s innocence after he was jailed on charges of raping a 19-year-old woman at a hotel room in North Wales.

Hale told the Derbyshire Times he had faced a “tremendous amount of hostility and verbal abuse” for his efforts to defend the former Wales international player.

“This is my fourth miscarriage and I am pleased that a large part of my research and submission papers helped to clear Ched’s name and remain hopeful he can now put this life back together again,” he said.

“I am now so pleased for Ched and for all his family that justice has finally been done.

“I never doubted the outcome but was disappointed he had to face a totally irrelevant re-trial following his acquittal at appeal.”

Hale, who also campaigned to free Stephen Downing after he was convicted of the murder of Wendy Sewell in Bakewell in the 1970s, called for North Wales Police to apologise to Evans, 27.

“North Wales Police certainly have a lot to answer for and should fully apologise to him and accept they are responsible for a badly misjudged wrongful conviction,” he said.

Picture: PA

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