Woman at centre of Ched Evans case could get thousands of pounds to begin new life

Ched Evans when he used to play for Sheffield United

Ched Evans when he used to play for Sheffield United

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The woman at the centre of the Ched Evans rape trial is in line to get thousands of pounds to start a new life.

Supporters of the complainant, who cannot be named for legal reasons, have donated over £15,000 after an online appeal was launched.

Sheffield United striker Ched Evans was found not guilty last week of raping the woman.

The prosecution case against the footballer was that the woman, who was 19, was too drunk to consent to sex in a hotel room in Rhyl, north Wales, in May 2011.

He was initially found guilty and served half of a five-year sentence behind bars, but challenged his conviction and was cleared last week after a retrial.

He admitted having sex with the woman after his footballer friend Clayton McDonald took her to the hotel, but insisted it was consensual.

Mr Evans was prosecuted after the police were called in when the woman woke up naked in a hotel room, which had been paid for by the footballer, and could not remember how she got there.

Jean Hatchet, a feminist who uses a pseudonym, set up the online appeal for financial help on Sunday and so far over 800 people have donated.

She said: "Since 2011 the complainant, a young woman whose life has been changed beyond all recognition, has been hounded, harassed, bullied, smeared and has had her life endangered many times. We don't know how she has endured such an ordeal.

"It is reported that she felt destroyed by the latest trial and collapsed after giving evidence.

"We want to be able to show her there are others in the world who care what has happened to her and care what happens to her now. We want her to have a gift to use as she chooses; to have a gesture that shows we hope she finds some peace. I hope that she will accept it via her legal team."

Half of all the money raised will also be offered to Rape Crisis.