Rapist Ched Evans has been released from prison after serving half of his five year sentence and, predictably, there are calls for him to be reinstated at Sheffield United as a player.
Some of those calls come from fans of Evans, who can’t bear the thought of their hero being guilty,
Others, like Judy Finnigan, are just thoughtless.
Finnigan suggested that Evans should be allowed to get his old job back because the rape “wasn’t violent”.
There is a difference between what Evans did and a rape committed by someone using a knife, for example, but both rapes are inherently violent. Rape is a violent act in itself. A longer sentence would be deserved for the knife-wielding rapist, because using a knife would be an extra criminal act. The rape itself is just as serious in both cases.
In fact, Evans’ victim has suffered a great deal, beyond the rape, at the hands of some of Evans’ fans. She has been forced to relocate, with a new identity, because of threats of further rape and violence, including death threats, three times, and there are constant attempts to reveal her new identities on social media.
While it cannot be proved, for now, that Evans is in any way responsible for these threats, he and his friends have done nothing to curb them. They could do so easily, via the website set up to overturn the Evans’ conviction, but they’d rather concentrate on using dubious “evidence” and innuendo.
So, now that Evans has been released from prison, why shouldn’t he be allowed to resume his career? Several commenters have asked if that would be better than him drawing unemployment benefits. That supposes that those are the only alternatives. There are other jobs, as other sex offenders have found out. Teachers, to take just one example, wouldn’t be welcomed back to school if they had to sign the sex offender register.
If he can’t find a job by himself though, maybe he should sign on. Perhaps the Job Centre could find him a placement where he could work for his benefits. Unlike most of the people on workfare, a more punitive regime than Community Service, Evans is a convicted criminal.