How come only one convicted…….

Update October 2016:
After a referral to the court of appeal by the criminal cases review commission, Evans has now been acquitted of the crime of rape. Whatever the rights or wrongs of that situation, in the eyes of the law, Evans is now innocent of the crime of rape. I leave the text below as a record of my thoughts on the case as it stood at the time of writing.



Here is a short summary of an earlier post now archived. This summary has also been clarified by some of the comments I’ve received below.


Clayton met and interacted with the victim for some time, before returning to the hotel with her. Even though at the time penetration took place, she was too drunk to consent (proven by the prosecution) it is likely that the jury felt this previous interaction gave them doubt about whether Claytons belief in consent* was a “reasonable belief” (See “he reasonably believes“). Note that if they have any doubt about his reasonable belief in consent they must acquit. Evans on the other hand had no such interaction with the victim before hand. He lied to get the key, and let himself into the room where there was a drunk naked woman who’d never met him before. He therefore had no opportunity to either obtain earlier consent (which would be invalidated by the drunkenness in any case), or to have any chance of forming a reasonable belief in that consent.

*this doesn’t mean he had consent – only that he had a belief in consent.

5 thoughts on “How come only one convicted…….

  1. MH – I will allow, and answer this one post. After that, you will no longer be welcome on this Blog, and your comments will be deleted unread.

    1 – Someone having sex with your mate (whether or not you have had a threesome with him in the past) is not a basis for a reasonable belief that she is consenting to you.

    2 – It is his responsibility to confirm she is not only consenting, but is capable of consent. It was the courts decision that she was not, and that he did not exercise his responsibility as he should have done. Therefore any belief he may have had was not on a reasonable basis.

    Further – we only have the word of two rape defendants about what was said – they are hardly likely to say she did not consent whatever the truth might be. Therefore not too much weight can be attached to that evidence.

    3 – No, his belief was not reasonable, because he is expected to ensure she is capable of consent, and failed to do so.

    4 – There was sufficient proof that she was too drunk to consent, AND that there was no basis for him to have a reasonable belief that she did (See also – ) – it is not whether he (or you) thinks his belief is reasonable – it is a matter of law to be decided by the courts.

    5 – He was proven guilty in law. She was incapable of consent, and any belief he had in consent was not reasonable (In fact – probably – he did not even care about finding out – just saw his chance and dived in)

    6 – He didn’t believe he had raped her, but that belief was not reasonable (in law)

    7 – Clayton had significant interaction with her before they went to the room. It is likely the jury felt that caused doubt about whether his belief in consent was reasonable or not. Doubt is all that is needed to acquit – it does not mean they thought his belief WAS reasonable.

    Think about that for a moment – they carefully considered this in the case of Clayton, and acquitted him. This means they would have thought equally carefully in the case of Evans – and still decided to convict. 12 People. Unanimous.

  2. Sorry how did Evans not have reasonable belief?

    He went into room and saw she was having sex, with someone he had 3somes with many times before.

    When the permission was asked by him or Clayton (doesn’t matter which btw) what should make him doubt the answer given (yes)?

    In the circumstances he was aware of he had a reasonable belief to think that she could and did consent.

    Evans doesn’t /shouldn’t need to prove that as its ‘innocent until proven guilty.’ There was no proof that he did rape her.

    And lets say he did rape her knowlingly as judge/jury thought. Why when interviewed did he say he had consensual sex? Because he did. If he had lied and said ‘no I went there to watch’ he probs wouldn’t be in jail….

    And are you suggesting Clayton raped her with reasonable belief?

  3. I think it’s simpler than that.

    The jury deemed that she was too drunk to consent to either of them.

    However, McDonald could demonstrate that he had ‘reasonable belief’ that she consented – to satisfy point two of the rape law. Evans couldn’t.

    Hence one not guilty, one guilty.

    • That is a good point, and one aspect I had forgotten about. Surprising, as I mentioned it here:

      Further I don’t think that McDonald actually *had* reasonable belief – only that he was able to cause reasonable doubt that he didn’t. (e.g. the victim returning to the hotel room with him should not be enough to constitute reasonable belief in consent)

  4. There are varying level of drunk also, a fact which tends to be neglected in these arguments. In most cases, the guy may be drunk, but his victim is smashed. And for reasons that should be obvious it’s a bit more difficult to force a drunken penis into a predatory vagina than the other way around.

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