Nigel Evans ‘victim’ lied to ease conscience

Nigel Evans has denied rape and sexual assault. Picture: Ross Parry
Nigel Evans has denied rape and sexual assault. Picture: Ross Parry
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A MAN who claimed that he was raped by former Commons deputy speaker Nigel Evans has told a jury he had not given a false account to “save his conscience”.

Giving his third day of evidence yesterday, the man denied he and the MP had consensual sex and he had “regretted it ever since”.

He told the jury what he did regret was “my cowardice” at allowing himself to get into the situation where he ended up in bed with Evans.

The incident is said to have taken place after the witnessattended a dinner party last year at Evans’ home in his Ribble Valley constituency in Lancashire, where he had agreedto stay overnight in a spare room.

Preston Crown Court has heard that the man, in his early 20s, had not invited or wanted any sexual contact but said he got under the covers with Evans after he was “escorted” to the 56-year-old’s bedroom.

The MP’s account of events was that the pair kissed downstairs and that the young man willingly went to bed with him and they had consensual sex.

Yesterday, Peter Wright, QC, asked the witness: “Is it simply that on reflection you wish none of this had ever happened?”

The man replied: “Yes, I do wish none of this happened.”

Mr Wright continued: “And you have recollected events to this jury that are inconsistent with what actually took place.”

“No,” said the witness.

The barrister went on: “And that in fact there was consensual activity between you that night and, in the cold light of day, you regretted it and you have regretted it ever since.”

“No,” said the man.

Mr Wright said: “And what you sought to do is to rationalise your conduct in a way that is consistent with the account you have given to save your conscience about it.”

The witness responded: “That’s so far-fetched.”

The alleged victim is one of seven young men that Evans is said to have sexually assaulted on various dates between 2002 and last year by using his “powerful” political influence to take advantage of them.

Evans denies one rape, two indecent assaults and six sexual assaults.

Mr Wright focused on how the man had relayed the events of the night to others.

The alleged victim said that he had “escaped” to the bathroom several times during the night to avoid the MP’s advances in bed.

He texted a friend, another of the alleged victims in the case, to say: “Help me.”

In one of the messages, he mentioned that he had been “dragged” into the bedroom.

The witness told the jury that had not actually happened.

He said: “I was saving face. I was a bit dramatic in the texts, as people can be.”

Mr Wright said: “For dramatic effect?”

The witness replied: “Yes. I don’t see why it’s important.”

The barrister continued: “Dram­atic effect tends to be a tool of persuasion, doesn’t it, to make more convincing what is being asserted, for greater impact with the audience?”

The man said: “Like I said, I was saving face.”

Just over a month after the dinner party, the alleged victim spoke on the phone to a police officer based at the Palace of Westminster.

The court has previously heard the man describe how he “froze in shock” when he woke up to find himself being allegedly raped by Evans.

The trial continues on Monday.