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Arsenal can lay down a marker

Arsenal
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By ESPN Staff

Evans to appeal over rape conviction

Sheffield United and Wales striker Ched Evans is to appeal against his conviction for raping a 19-year-old woman in a hotel room, his lawyers said on Tuesday night.

• Evans jailed for five years

In a statement posted on the club website, law firm Brabners Chaffe Street said that the 23-year-old striker, jailed for five years for the sex attack, "maintains his innocence'' and would be appealing against the jury's verdict.

"Mr Evans firmly maintains his innocence in this matter and as such, we confirm that Mr Evans will be appealing the decision,'' the firm said in a statement posted on the club's official website.

Evans was jailed at Caernarfon Crown Court last Friday after being found guilty of raping the woman at a hotel in North Wales last May.

He admitted having had sex with her, but the woman told the jury that she had no memory of the incident - and the prosecution argued that she was too drunk to consent to sexual intercourse.

Port Vale defender Clayton McDonald, 23, who also admitted having sex with the victim, was found not guilty of the same charge.

Sheffield United defender Connor Brown has been suspended by the club for comments he made on Twitter following the trial.

The Blades' reserve-team player responded to Evans's five-year prison sentence by tweeting various comments in relation to the case and his support for his team-mate.

Meanwhile, North Wales Police are conducting an investigation after the victim of the rape was named and subjected to abuse on Twitter and other websites.