Evans: I was being juvenile by walking in on friend in hotel room

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Footballer Ched Evans has told jurors of the moment he walked into a budget hotel room to see his best friend having sex with a woman - before being given permission to join in.

Cardiff Crown Court heard the 13-cap Wales international arrived at a Premier Inn near Rhyl in north Wales in the early hours of the morning after finding out a friend had "got a bird".

Evans, 27, who denies raping the woman, told a jury he had been juvenile and childish when deciding to check on the pair at 4am following a drunken night out with friends.

The striker told a jury he then got a key-card from reception before opening the room door and seeing footballing friend Clayton McDonald and a woman naked together.

He said: "I did not know for sure what was happening in the room (before I entered). I thought they might be having sex. I couldn't be sure, but like I said I was being childish.

"Clay was stood at the end of bed, and the woman was at the foot of the bed.....on her back.

"Clay looked at me and then looked at her and then said 'can my mate join in'?

"She looked at me and then said 'yes'."

 

Evans, who was 22 at the time of the alleged incident, took to the witness box to give evidence on the fourth day of his retrial.

Jurors have been told the former Manchester City striker was previously found guilty of raping the woman following an earlier trial - but the conviction was later quashed by the Court of Appeal and a retrial ordered.

When questioned by defence counsel Judy Khan QC, he said he was sure the woman was not too drunk to consent to sex.

Evans said he and Mr McDonald had previously had a threesome with a different woman during a game of strip poker in 2009.

After entering the hotel room in May 2011, Evans said he began watching Mr McDonald and the woman having sex.

"I started to get undressed," he told the jury.

"Clayton was having sex with her, then Clayton stopped having sex with her and went to close the curtains."

Evans claimed the woman asked Mr McDonald to perform a sex act on her but he did not do so.

The woman then looked at Evans and asked him to perform the sex act, after which they began having sex, he told the court.

"She was making noises like she was enjoying herself," Evans said.

He claimed the woman asked him to "f*** me harder" on more than one occasion.

Mr McDonald had been on the bed but went to the bathroom to get dressed, Evans said.

"I was still having sex," Evans told the jury.

"Once Clay was dressed he said to me 'I'm getting off lad'. He was leaving."

Evans and the woman did not reply to him, he told the court.

"It was just me and her in the room. When Clay left the room I stopped having sex," Evans added.

When asked why, Evans replied that he had become aware that he was "cheating on my girlfriend".

"When I pulled away she grabbed the corner of the quilt over herself, looked over at me and huffed," he said.

"I started to get dressed."

Evans confirmed he left through a fire escape and met up with Mr McDonald outside.

The pair then walked to his family home in the town and slept there. They were arrested in Cheshire on May 31.

Ms Khan asked Evans: "During sex with the woman was she consenting?"

He replied: "Yes."

When asked to how she was consenting, he said: "From how she was acting, what she said to me."

Ms Khan asked: "Was there any doubt in your mind that she was consenting?"

Evans said: "None, no."

Ms Khan asked: "How did she seem to you?"

He replied: "From what I had seen, she seemed like she was having sex and enjoying herself."

Ms Khan asked: "Did she appear to be too drunk to consent?"

Evans said: "No."

He insisted the woman knew what was happening around her.

Ms Khan asked: "If she had been too drunk to consent would you have had sex with her?"

Evans replied: "No."

In her final question to Evans in his evidence-in-chief, Ms Khan asked: "Did you rape her, Mr Evans?"

He replied: "No."

Dressed in a black suit and white shirt, Evans began his evidence by speaking about his football career.

He told jurors he began playing in primary school and also a Sunday league team before being spotted by a scout from Chester City FC's and signed for its youth team.

When Chester went bust, Evans was then snapped up by Manchester City - which was where he met Mr McDonald and the two of them lived together with a family of four in the Timperley area of the city.

He said that sometimes the pair would shower naked together in communal showers after games and they also once had a threesome a few years previously with a woman following a game of strip poker.

The court heard that the day before the alleged rape took place, he texted Mr McDonald and fellow Man City youth player Javan Vidal asking if they wanted to go for a night out in his home town after the end of the football season.

The defendant said he decided to book a hotel room for his two friends because there would not be enough room for them at his mother's four-bedroomed house where he was staying.

Evans, who a court heard was being paid "thousands of pounds of week" by Sheffield United at the time, said he paid £92 for a one person room because it was cheaper than paying for two people.

He said he had two or three Jack Daniels and cokes in the house before going out at around 10pm where he drank more bourbon at a pub before going to nightclub Zu Bar at around 11.30pm.

When asked by Ms Khan what he had done in the club, Evans replied: "We just drank and danced......I was drunk but in control of myself."

After leaving the club, Evans said he then went to a kebab shop called The Godfather.

Jurors were shown CCTV footage inside the takeaway of Evans entering just seconds after the complainant fell over on the floor before being picked up by a fellow reveller.

"Was I aware of her when I was in the kebab shop? No. Did I see her fall? No," told jurors.

He also said he had not seen the complainant, who had also been in Zu Bar, earlier in the night either.

CCTV images show the alleged victim falling over in the kebab shop, with Evans pointing and walking past her.

Later, Evans received an instant message on his BlackBerry from Mr McDonald, telling him: "I've got a bird" or similar, he told the court.

Evans, along with his brother, Ryan Roberts, and a friend, took a taxi to the Premier Inn to speak to Mr McDonald and to "see who this girl was", he said.

"Just to see if I knew her, see if it was one of my sister's friends," he told the jury.

"That was it really - just to see who she was."

After arriving at the hotel, Mr Roberts and his friend walked to the window of the room where Mr McDonald and the woman were.

Evans went into the hotel and entered the room, which was dark, after asking for a key card from reception.

Evans told the court he was in a relationship with Natasha Massey at the time of the alleged incident.

He confirmed the couple are still together and have a nine-month-old son.

When asked about their plans for the future, Evans replied: "More children and to get married."