Crown defends legal bid as former deputy speaker is cleared

Nigel Evans MP
Nigel Evans MP
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The Crown Prosecution Service has defended its handling of the Nigel Evans case in the wake of the MPs’ acquittal of committing string of sexual offences.

Conservatives branded the prosecution “artificial” and called for the Attorney General to launch an urgent review of CPS practices after the former Commons deputy speaker was cleared of nine sexual offences against seven young men.

But prosecutors stood by the decision to take the case to court, insisting it was “right” that the evidence was put to a jury.

“The complainants in this case provided clear accounts of the alleged offending and it was right that all of the evidence was put before a jury,” a CPS spokesman said.

“That evidence could only be fully explored during a trial and the jury has decided, after hearing all of the evidence, that the prosecution has not proved its case beyond reasonable doubt. We respect this decision.”

Former shadow home secretary David Davis said he had serious concerns over how the police and the CPS bring sexual offence cases to court.

“It is clear from the way that this case proceeded that there is a risk of a serious injustice being done to an innocent man, and I would call on the Attorney General to urgently review this issue.”