Rape row: more arrests in connection with Sheffield United player’s case

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DETECTIVES have made nine more arrests in their investigation into the naming of the woman raped by Sheffield United striker Ched Evans.

North Wales Police arrested the suspects yesterday in their probe into how the footballer’s victim’s identity was leaked via social media networks.

Five men and four women were quizzed.

Meanwhile thousands have signed an online petition to remove Evans from an end-of-season honours list.

The striker, 23, who is serving a five-year sentence, had been included in the Professional Footballers’ Association League One team of the year.

Teacher Leo Hardt from Wales started the petition claiming Evans’s inclusion sent out a ‘very troubling message’.

The petition, on the campaign website change.org, has received more than 9,000 signatures.

Mr Hardt said: “I started this campaign because my students see professional footballers as role models and take these awards, like this one from the PFA, as endorsements of their heroes.

“It’s staggering the PFA would chose to endorse a convicted rapist when there are many footballers who are better role models for our young people. I urge the PFA to remove him from the list immediately.”

Gordon Taylor, chief executive of the PFA, last week defended the decision to include the Sheffield United and Wales striker.

He said Evans was included in the team as members had already cast their votes.

Evans’ fans have set up another petition to keep him in the PFA side and around 300 people have signed.

Meanwhile, members of parenting website Mumsnet have set up a campaign to support Evans’s victim.