consensual sex

consensual sex

Ex Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans Found Not Guilty

1w ago
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Former deputy speaker of the House of Commons Nigel Evans has been found not guilty of all nine sex charges against him. The 56-yearold had been accused of one count of rape, four count of sexual assault, one count of attempted sexual assault and two counts of indecent assault. Mr Evans, who is also MP for Ribble Valley, wept after the verdicts were handed down by the jury at the end of a five-week trial at Preston Crown Court. The charges related to offences against seven men, said to have been carried out between 2003 and 2013. Friends of Mr Evans cheered as the last of the not guilty verdicts was read out by the foreman of the jury, which had deliberated for five hours and 45 minutes. Among those who were present to support the MP was Coronation Street star Vicky Entwhistle, who was also seen in tears. Speaking on the steps of the court after the verdict, Mr Evans said: "As many of you know, I have been through 11 months of hell. "Many have walked with me, including my team in Clitheroe and in Westminster. In my darkest and loneliest time, there were only one or two foot steps in the sand, and they weren't mine. "I've got work to do and that is the work I've had to do for the last 22 years." While speaking, he referred to comments made by Coronation Street star Bill Roache who was cleared on sex offences at the same court a months ago. Mr Roache, who was also prosecuted by authorities in Lancashire, said there were "no winners" in situations like his, so there would be "no celebration". Mr Evans added: "All I can say is that after the last 11 months that I've gone through, nothing will ever be the same again." Mr Evans had consistently denied the charges and has insisted that the alleged rape of a 22-year-old university student had been consensual sex. Mr Evans was also accused of indecently assaulting two men in their 20s in 2003 when he approached them in public places while drunk. A 23-year-old, meanwhile, said he was sexually assaulted while sleeping on Mr Evans' sofa at the MP's Lancashire home in July 2009. Evans admitted he had made a pass and apologised to the young man after he was hauled into the Conservative whips' office but the jury was told the allegation "gathered a momentum of its own" after the man mentioned the incident to another MP The man was accused of embellishing his story when police became involved but two of his close friends bolstered his allegation by coming forward to say they too had been sexually assaulted. But the failure of the prosecution to deliver a guilty verdict, raises questions over yet another sex offences trial that has ended in a not guilty verdict. Mark Pritchard MP was one of those who responded quickly on Twitter to the verdict. He tweeted: "Nigel Evans cleared on all counts. Lancashire Police and Crown Prosecution Service have some serious questions to answer." Mr Evans was a Conservative MP before he was elected in 2010 as one of three deputy speakers, a politically neutral role. He stepped down as a deputy speaker last September after he was charged with the offences. He has not returned to the Conservatives and represents his constituents as an independent. Sources have told Sky News he does not want his job as deputy speaker back. A source within government said: "Nigel Evans has never expected or wanted to get his job back as Deputy Speaker - he's with the rest of the party in believing that his replacement, Eleanor Laing is doing a good job."