Sheffield men fined over naming of victim

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THREE Sheffield men have been ordered to pay £624 each to the woman raped by former Blades striker Ched Evans after they admitted revealing her identity online.

The victim’s name was circulated on social network sites, including Twitter and Facebook, after Evans’ conviction at Caernarfon Crown Court in April.

Paul Devine, aged 26, of Buchanan Road, Parson Cross, 25-year-old Daniel Cardwell, from White Lane, Chapeltown, and Shaun Littler, 22, of Ashbourne Road, Handsworth, all admitted the charge.

The three were among seven men and two women who appeared at Prestatyn Magistrates’ Court in North Wales yesterday and admitted publishing material likely to lead members of the public to identify the complainant in a rape case, contrary to the Sexual Offences Amendment Act 1992.

The law gives victims and alleged victims of rape and other sex offences lifelong anonymity.

Some of the nine also launched abuse at the victim, calling her names.

They all claimed they were not aware that naming her was a criminal offence.

District Judge Andrew Shaw ordered the defendants to pay the victim compensation of £624 each. The court was told a fine was the maximum penalty.

Former Sheffield United and Wales striker Evans was found guilty of raping a 19-year-old woman in a Rhyl hotel room.

He was due to appeal against conviction at the Court of Appeal today.

The other six who identified the rape victim were all from North Wales. They were Benjamin Davies, 27, of Elwy Drive, Rhyl; 27-year-old Michael Ashton, of Gwelfor Terrace, Llanddulas; Dominic Green, 23, of Oakwood Road, Rhyl; 26-year-old Craig MacDonald, of Greenacres Caravan Park, Prestatyn; Holly Price, 25, of Derwent Close, Prestatyn, and 18-year-old Gemma Thomas, of South Drive, Rhyl.

Another woman, Alexandra Hewitt, 24, of Cherry Dale Road, Broughton, North Wales, denies the charge and will appear for trial on January 21.