Ched Evans will have his appeal, and it’s possible he will win, but the activity of some of his supporters has been appalling, even if he is acquitted.
I can understand his family and friends standing by him, but the “#justiceforched” hashtag on Twitter has, whether or not it was originally intended, been an attempt to subvert justice by intimidation, chiefly of the victim. Some idiots even posted links to Facebook and Twitter profiles of someone with the same surname, asking whether that person was related to “the slut”.
Evans’ appeal might consist of an examination of the transcript of the trial, or it could be a full rehearing, in which case naming the victim is an even more serious matter.
One or two people have said that they aren’t bothered by the prospect of prosecution, because they’ve heard that it’s “only a £5000 fine, which I haven’t got, so good luck with that”.
Well yes, that’s probably true, if the charge is just for revealing the victim’s name. (That’s leaving aside the possible escalation of charges for failure to pay the fine.)
However, one person has already been arrested for “malicious communication” and, as far as I can ascertain, he isn’t the worst culprit. Malicious communication can be punished with imprisonment, in most cases 6 months, in the case of a sustained attack, 5 years.
I have been very careful to remove the victim’s name from any screenshots, as well as other names that might help to trace hers, It’s probably too late, but it’s still a criminal offence and besides, it’s just plain wrong. Others, including Sky News, have not been as careful, and may face prosecution.
It is those who heaped abuse on the victim, calling her such things as “slut” and “slag”, as well as deliberately and repeatedly using her name, who should be most worried.
Update 1st May: Nine more arrests.
Update 2nd May: Another one bites the dust.
Update 9th May: The plot thickens.
- Justice For Ched’s Victim! (neitshade.wordpress.com)
- Twitter reaction to Ched Evans case shows rape culture is alive and kicking | Amanda Bancroft (guardian.co.uk)
- Wales News: Sheffield United probe Ched Evans Twitter comments by team-mate Connor Brown (walesonline.co.uk)
- Twitter users to be arrested over naming of Ched Evans rape victim (guardian.co.uk)
- Ched Evans fans to applaud rapist at Sheffield United Match (HuffintonPost.co.uk)