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Wearside club 'will not contact Ched Evans' after petition

Former Sheffield United striker Ched Evans was convicted of rape Credit: PA

The secretary of a non-league football club on Wearside has told ITV his club will not contact the convicted rapist Ched Evans, after nearly 20,000 people signed a petition against it.

It was reported that Ashbrooke Belford House FC in Sunderland wanted to offer Ched Evans a position, saying he deserved a second chance.

The former Sheffield United striker was released from prison last year after serving half his five-year sentence for rape.

A petition set up by Jean Hatchet, from London, asked the non-league side: "Please show rape survivors you care about them more than club profit and league success." It was signed by more than 19,400 people in two days.

The club secretary of Ashbrooke Belford House FC, Adrian Forster, told ITV: "We have had no contact with Ched Evans and will not be contacting him."

The side plays in the Wearside Football League, in the twelfth tier of English football, seven leagues below the Football League.

Previous clubs that expressed an interest in signing Ched Evans included Oldham Athletic and Hartlepool United.

Police thank taxi driver who found boy, 3

Northumbria Police has released a statement after a taxi driver found a boy, 3, wandering the streets in Sunderland.

"At 2.43am on Sunday, February 22 Police received reports that a 3-year-old boy had been found alone on Queen Alexandra Road, Sunderland by a passing taxi driver.

"The boy has recently moved to the area with his family and had woken up in the middle of the night and had mistakenly let himself out while his mother slept.

"I would like to thank the taxi driver who did the right thing by contacting police and keeping the boy safe and warm while his mother was contacted and they were reunited."

– Northumbria Police
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