Footballer Ched Evans has seen his conviction for rape quashed at the London Court of Appeal and will face a new trial.
Evans, 27, was given a five-year sentence for raping a 19-year-old woman in 2012, something the former Manchester City and Wales striker has always denied.
Evans served half of the sentence before being released, and has not played football professionally since his release.
Former club Sheffield United and fellow League One outfit Oldham Athletic were interested in signing him after his spell inside, but backed down as sponsors and club patrons threatened to cut their ties with the club if Evans signed a contract.
Speaking outside court, Mr Evans’s solicitor Shaun Draycott said:
Ched Evans is extremely grateful that the court of appeal has ruled that his conviction for rape was unsafe and should be quashed.
Evans was granted an appeal after submitting new evidence in January 2015, three months after his release.
That meant his case was successfully referred to the Court of Appeal by the Criminal Cases Review Commission – which investigates possible miscarriages of justice.
Announcing the court’s decision, Lady Justice Hallett said:
In summary, we have concluded that we must allow the appeal and that it is in the interests of justice to order a retrial.
The appellant will be retried on the allegation of rape.
Evans will now be re-tried within two months.