Rape trial of footballers told woman feared drink was spiked

A woman who was allegedly raped by two footballers told police she could not remember the attack and suspects her drink was spiked, a court heard yesterday.

Wales and Sheffield United striker Ched Evans, 23, and Clayton McDonald, also 23, deny raping her at a Premier Inn near Rhyl, north Wales, during a Bank Holiday last May.

In a police interview shown to the jury at Caernarfon Crown Court yesterday, the complainant, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said she had no memories of how she got to the hotel or what happened there.

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Port Vale defender McDonald, of Marys Gate, Crewe, Cheshire, and Evans, of Ashtree Gardens, Millhouse Green, Penistone, South Yorkshire, have both admitted having sex with the complainant.

But the prosecution says the woman was too drunk to consent to sexual intercourse.

The court heard that on the night of the alleged attack the restaurant worker, who was 19 at the time, drank two glasses of wine with colleagues after work.

She later got a taxi to the Zu bar in Rhyl and socialised with friends. After dancing at the bar and drinking four double vodkas with lemonade and a shot of sambuca, she lost her friends and went into the Godfather takeaway shop.

She woke up the next morning, naked and alone in the hotel bedroom. The last thing she could remember was being in the takeaway.

She said that when she woke up her main concern was that she could not find her handbag.

In an interview with the police a day after the incident, she said: “It is just horrible because I don’t know how I got there.

“I can’t remember, that is the reason I think I was spiked, because I can’t remember how I got between both places (the takeaway shop and the Premier Inn hotel) or what happened there. I must have been really out of it to lose my bag.”

She said she could not remember leaving the Zu bar at around 3am on Monday May 30.

Despite her suspicions that someone had tampered with her drink, she said she had “kept an eye” on her glass when it was not in her hands in the bar.

In CCTV footage shown to the court she was seen leaving the bar and then falling over, squatting and talking to several men in the Godfather takeaway shop.

But giving evidence to the police, she said she had not drunk more alcohol than on a normal night out. She said: “I have drunk a lot more than that before now and never blacked out.”

Blood samples taken by the police found she had traces of cocaine and cannabis in her system, but she denied taking any drugs that night.

CCTV footage showed that, after leaving the Godfather takeaway shop, she got into a taxi with McDonald and arrived with him at the Premier Inn hotel at around 4am.

In cross-examination, the woman again denied having any recollection of meeting McDonald, going in a taxi to the Premier Inn with him or having sex with him and Evans.

Giving evidence via a video link, she broke into tears several times.

Lloyd Morgan, defending McDonald, said: “You went into the room (with McDonald) and had a chat. You each took your clothes off and he began having sex with you.

“At one point Ched Evans came into the room and there was a question of whether he could get involved and you said words to the effect of ‘Yes, fine’.”

Mr Morgan said that before Evans became involved, McDonald got up and closed the curtains because a “couple of lads” were watching through the window.

Mr Morgan said: “I suggest that you woke up and knew what had happened and were embarrassed about it.”

The court heard that the woman reported the incident after she finished a late shift at work on the evening of May 30. Defending Evans, David Fish QC asked: “Was there any reason why you delayed going to the police?”

She answered: “I wasn’t originally going to go to the police, I didn’t know anything had happened, I was obviously confused about how I had got there (to the hotel).”

Mr Fish said: “I suggest you had intercourse with both men in that room willingly.”

The trial continues.