Nigel Evans acquitted of all sex charges

The Ribble Valley MP, Nigel Evans, has been found not guilty of all sex charges at Preston Crown Court. Jurors acquitted the politician of 9 counts including rape.

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Top prosecutor defends Nigel Evans charges

The Director of Public Prosecutions has defended the decision to prosecute Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans over a string of sex offence charges, saying victims of such offences do not always consider themselves victims.

Alison Saunders defended the Crown Prosecution Service's handling of the case against the former Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons, who wept in the dock yesterday after a jury at Preston Crown Court unanimously cleared him of nine sexual allegations, including one of rape.

DPP Alison Saunders defends Nigel Evans' prosecution

The Director of Public Prosecutions has defended the decision to prosecute former Common's deputy speaker Nigel Evans over a string of sex offences charges, saying victims of sex crimes do not always consider themselves victims.

Victims themselves may not always think of themselves as victims, it rather depends on the relationship they are in with their alleged abusers.

So if someone is in a position of power, or perhaps we have seen it in grooming cases where victims think they are not victims because their abusers love them and take care of them.

So I think we should be very careful just to say 'people don't think they are victims and therefore they are not'."

– Alison Saunders, Director of Public Prosecutions

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Mike Penning: 'The police need to get their act together'

Minister for Disabled People Mike Penning MP talks to ITV News Credit: ITV News

Conservative MP and Minister for DisabledPeople, Mike Penning has added his voice to those demanding that the police and Crown Prosecution Service face more scrutiny in the wake of Nigel Evans' aquittal.

“For Nigel this must be a huge lift off his shoulders but he’s gone through absolutehell and what upset me a little bit earlier on as I was listening to one of the senior police officers after the court case talking about the victim and how they’re going to look after the victims.

"The jury decided here that Nigel was innocent of all charges; I can’t quite understand where the victims are.

"I think the police need to get their act together and we need to look very, very carefully whether cases like this, whether it’s a senior public official like Nigel or anybody, whether these cases should have been in the courts in the first place.”

More: Conservative MPs 'delighted' at Evans verdict

Cameron hints at Evans' return to Tory fold

David Cameron, speaking in Manchester, today
David Cameron, speaking in Manchester, today Credit: PA

The Prime Minister has hinted that Nigel Evans will be welcomed back into the Tory fold, after the MP was found not guilty of rape and sexual assault.

David Cameron said: "It is hard to imagine the relief that Nigel must feel after such a traumatic time. I very much welcome what he said on the steps of the court and I think everyone should pay heed to that."

"I'm sure he will want to get on with working with his constituents in the Ribble Valley and, as for the future, I'm sure it's something he'll be discussing with the chief whip when he returns to Parliament."

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