Not being interested in football I had never heard of Ched Evans until the current furore over his attempts to return to the game following his "release" from prison.
I say "release" with inverted commons because it is often forgotten that Evans has only served the custodial part of his sentence and is on licence for the remainder of his punishment. Evans can be sent back to prison at any time should he breach any of the conditions of his licence.
Petitions have been signed by thousands to stop him signing up to at least two football clubs to my knowledge and the arguments continue .
Ched Evans was convicted in a court of law for rape, one of the most serious crimes that can be committed against another human being.
He has shown no contrition and there is even a website (which I point blank refuse to link to) which not only backs Evans but harasses and vilifies the woman who was attacked.
It is his victim that seems to have been forgotten in all this.
According to the Guardian:
While the debate rages, including another petition against him being re-employed rapidly gaining thousands of signatories, the young woman has been unable to proceed with her life. The most recent reports are that she has had to change her identity five times to avoid the internet haters.
Her father told the Daily Mirror that she did not go to her family home for Christmas and she is “living her life on the run”. He said he has complained to the attorney general about aspects of the Evans website which he argues further victimise her.Lets examine that again.
The victim (who was 19 at the time) has had to change her identity five times to escape persecution by Evan's supporters.
Has he ever spoken out against that?
Evans may be on parole but the woman he abused and raped is facing a life sentence unable to even go home for christmas.
Would we allow Rolf Harris back on TV for a show about painting when he is released or Stuart Hall to return to commentating?
The answer would be a very firm no.
Neither should Evans return to football.
Having read the details of what he did I am of the opinion he can never "clear his name" as he claims he is trying to do. Disgusting treatment of a woman with his mates outside laughing and trying to film.
If Evans wants a job, there's plenty he can do without any public profile and if he is to be rehabilitated he must learn humility and take responsibility for his actions.
He can start by making sure that website set up by his supporters is shut down.
And his victim must be left in peace.
Until then justice will not be fully served.