Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans demands legal expenses after being cleared of sex offences

Former Commons deputy speaker Nigel Evans speaks outside Preston Crown Court after he was found not guilty of nine charges after a five week trial.

Former Commons deputy speaker Nigel Evans speaks outside Preston Crown Court after he was found not guilty of nine charges after a five week trial.

First published in News

MP Nigel Evans has demanded the Crown Prosecution Service repay his £130,000 legal expenses after he was cleared of a string of sex offences.

Mr Evans, who was found not guilty of rape and sexual assault at a court on Thursday, said the case had cost him his entire life savings.

The former deputy speaker in the House of Commons said that he had contemplated suicide dur-ing the “very darkest moments” of his 11-month ordeal, in an interview with a national newspaper.

And the Ribble Valley MP told how his friends, including Coronation Street’s Bill Roache and Vicky Entwistle, had supported him at his lowest ebb.

He described the case as a witch-hunt and ‘a very public execution attempt’.

He said: “I live ... in the foothills of Pendle Hill which was known for one thing: witch-hunts.

“The witches of Pendle were captured there, transported to Lancaster and executed in public. That is how I feel.”

The 56-year-old called for a review of laws that grant anonymity to alleged victims of sex crimes, which he said were ‘unbalanced’, and questioned the way the CPS had handled recent cases of historic sexual allegations against high-profile people.

He said: “I feel cheated by the fact that if my seven accusers and I walked down the street none of them would be recognised but I would be because I was the only one who was named. And I have been cleared, while their allegations have been shown to be false.”

Speaking of the impact fighting the case had on him, Mr Evans said the legal battle had cost him his £130,000 life savings, saying: “Every penny is gone, in addition to the £30,000-a-year additional parliamentary salary I was paid as Deputy Speaker.”

He added: “If someone is dragged through the courts through no fault of their own and is acquitted they should get their legal fees back from the CPS budget.

“Maybe that will make them focus on whether a case is worth pursuing.”

Mr Evans said there should be consideration given to banning prosecutions of ‘historic’ alleged crimes, or a time limit, saying: “We need to consider the issue of a statute of limitations and look at how other countries deal with this.”

He also called for an end to the ‘bundling’ of cases, in which weaker allegations are considered together to build a stronger case, and said the CPS should have to meet a higher threshold in its likelihood of securing a conviction before it can bring a prosecution.

Mr Evans said that Roache, a long-standing friend who was also cleared of a string of sex offences earlier this year, had texted him his delight after the news of his acquittal on Thursday, and he now plans to enjoy a toast with him in the House of Commons to celebrate.

He added: “Without my friends being there for me and giving me hope I would have been a broken man... you get the strength from people believing in you and giving you the support.”

Comments (18)

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9:23am Mon 14 Apr 14

caballo says...

You've dodged a bullet Nige, I'd be keeping my head down and my mouth shut were I in your position. Rattle enough cages with your crusade of innocence and the mud may start flying again.
You've dodged a bullet Nige, I'd be keeping my head down and my mouth shut were I in your position. Rattle enough cages with your crusade of innocence and the mud may start flying again. caballo
  • Score: 25

9:46am Mon 14 Apr 14

The old faithfull says...

The front of this Guy, he expects us the Tax payers ,we fund the C P S, to pay his legal expenses.. He misbehaves in the commons bars ,warned about his behaviour by the Tory high command ,yet still continues and wonders why he ends up in court. Although found not guilty ,therefore not illegal behaviour, it doesn't mean to say it never took place. The man should do the decent think for once in his life and resign his seat in the commons, he his nor a fit person to represent me in the House of Parliament. .
The front of this Guy, he expects us the Tax payers ,we fund the C P S, to pay his legal expenses.. He misbehaves in the commons bars ,warned about his behaviour by the Tory high command ,yet still continues and wonders why he ends up in court. Although found not guilty ,therefore not illegal behaviour, it doesn't mean to say it never took place. The man should do the decent think for once in his life and resign his seat in the commons, he his nor a fit person to represent me in the House of Parliament. . The old faithfull
  • Score: 23

10:04am Mon 14 Apr 14

Bat E Karen says...

He may have been cleared of any illegal activity, but it's still all a bit sleazy. I can't imagine many people of the Ribble Valley approving of his behaviour.
He may have been cleared of any illegal activity, but it's still all a bit sleazy. I can't imagine many people of the Ribble Valley approving of his behaviour. Bat E Karen
  • Score: 24

10:24am Mon 14 Apr 14

juanbbien says...

He seems like a nice boy,ha,ha.
He seems like a nice boy,ha,ha. juanbbien
  • Score: 9

10:27am Mon 14 Apr 14

woolywords says...

Shame that he recalled the Pendle Witch trials but not that one of the twelve was found not guilty. So it's hardly an example of an injustice, is it?
No mention of the money that he will receive after he loses his seat in the next election, I note. One of the few jobs that, when you lose it, you still get paid a tidy salary for long afterwards. Error of omission or seeking a sympathy vote?
Shame that he recalled the Pendle Witch trials but not that one of the twelve was found not guilty. So it's hardly an example of an injustice, is it? No mention of the money that he will receive after he loses his seat in the next election, I note. One of the few jobs that, when you lose it, you still get paid a tidy salary for long afterwards. Error of omission or seeking a sympathy vote? woolywords
  • Score: 11

10:28am Mon 14 Apr 14

yyy's1 says...

The disgraceful conduct of this man over the years doesn't say much for the quality of conservatives in the Ribble Valley.
If they couldn't find a better more fitting person amongst their own to be their M.P. it's a sad reflection on them.
It seems pretty obvious from what's been going on how he came to get a safe seat, not surprising though, for when you look at our M.P.'s over the years we have been burdened with every kind of pervert, liars and thieves imaginable, they are the dregs of society.
I don't want this excuse for a human being to get one penny out of my taxes, he should pay up and shut up.
The disgraceful conduct of this man over the years doesn't say much for the quality of conservatives in the Ribble Valley. If they couldn't find a better more fitting person amongst their own to be their M.P. it's a sad reflection on them. It seems pretty obvious from what's been going on how he came to get a safe seat, not surprising though, for when you look at our M.P.'s over the years we have been burdened with every kind of pervert, liars and thieves imaginable, they are the dregs of society. I don't want this excuse for a human being to get one penny out of my taxes, he should pay up and shut up. yyy's1
  • Score: 22

10:31am Mon 14 Apr 14

HarryBosch says...

The CPS continually tell us that a prosecution has to pass two tests before it can proceed i) that it is in the public interest and ii) that there has to be a realistic prospect of conviction.

In my opinion there can never have been a realistic prospect of conviction in this case when some of the witnesses were obviously reluctant and appear to have,  in effect, been railroaded into giving evidence.
This case, once again, goes on to show that the CPS appear to be on a witch hunt for high profile scalps in the wake of the Jimmy Savile controversy.
I do agree with comments made that this case has not shown Mr Evans in the best light, however, I also think that this case as highlighted the anomalies in the justice system and in that regard it needs looking at again. Primarily those areas are i) the issue of anonymity needs to be extended to the accused as well as the accuser, ii) time limits on historical allegations, iii) the issue of costs being paid in not guilty verdicts.
These issues affect us all. Any one of us can be the subject of false allegations and have to fight to clear our good name and that should not have the potential to bankrupt us. Changes need to be made to protect the genuinely innocent, for the sake of true justice.
The CPS continually tell us that a prosecution has to pass two tests before it can proceed i) that it is in the public interest and ii) that there has to be a realistic prospect of conviction. In my opinion there can never have been a realistic prospect of conviction in this case when some of the witnesses were obviously reluctant and appear to have,  in effect, been railroaded into giving evidence. This case, once again, goes on to show that the CPS appear to be on a witch hunt for high profile scalps in the wake of the Jimmy Savile controversy. I do agree with comments made that this case has not shown Mr Evans in the best light, however, I also think that this case as highlighted the anomalies in the justice system and in that regard it needs looking at again. Primarily those areas are i) the issue of anonymity needs to be extended to the accused as well as the accuser, ii) time limits on historical allegations, iii) the issue of costs being paid in not guilty verdicts. These issues affect us all. Any one of us can be the subject of false allegations and have to fight to clear our good name and that should not have the potential to bankrupt us. Changes need to be made to protect the genuinely innocent, for the sake of true justice. HarryBosch
  • Score: -16

12:33pm Mon 14 Apr 14

Interocitor says...

Nigel Evans wants the changes in Legal Aid reversed because they have hit him, but not a word about the cuts that have hit the poor, including the working poor, sick and disabled. I had every sympathy for him and what he's gone through, but that's now gone. He's just very bitter and selfish man.
Nigel Evans wants the changes in Legal Aid reversed because they have hit him, but not a word about the cuts that have hit the poor, including the working poor, sick and disabled. I had every sympathy for him and what he's gone through, but that's now gone. He's just very bitter and selfish man. Interocitor
  • Score: 25

12:58pm Mon 14 Apr 14

Interocitor says...

This has really infuriated me. It the same old 'do as I say, not as I do'.

He voted for LASPO which removed the ability to recoup costs, but now he wants changes because the policy he so loyally supported has come back to bite him.

You couldn't make it up. It's like duck houses all over again. The arrogance of these people knows no bounds. Like I said, I had every sympathy for him, but not anymore.
This has really infuriated me. It the same old 'do as I say, not as I do'. He voted for LASPO which removed the ability to recoup costs, but now he wants changes because the policy he so loyally supported has come back to bite him. You couldn't make it up. It's like duck houses all over again. The arrogance of these people knows no bounds. Like I said, I had every sympathy for him, but not anymore. Interocitor
  • Score: 20

1:31pm Mon 14 Apr 14

midas says...

Interocitor wrote:
This has really infuriated me. It the same old 'do as I say, not as I do'. He voted for LASPO which removed the ability to recoup costs, but now he wants changes because the policy he so loyally supported has come back to bite him. You couldn't make it up. It's like duck houses all over again. The arrogance of these people knows no bounds. Like I said, I had every sympathy for him, but not anymore.
Did he vote for it, or was he the Deputy Speaker at the time?
[quote][p][bold]Interocitor[/bold] wrote: This has really infuriated me. It the same old 'do as I say, not as I do'. He voted for LASPO which removed the ability to recoup costs, but now he wants changes because the policy he so loyally supported has come back to bite him. You couldn't make it up. It's like duck houses all over again. The arrogance of these people knows no bounds. Like I said, I had every sympathy for him, but not anymore.[/p][/quote]Did he vote for it, or was he the Deputy Speaker at the time? midas
  • Score: -10

1:33pm Mon 14 Apr 14

midas says...

yyy's1 wrote:
The disgraceful conduct of this man over the years doesn't say much for the quality of conservatives in the Ribble Valley. If they couldn't find a better more fitting person amongst their own to be their M.P. it's a sad reflection on them. It seems pretty obvious from what's been going on how he came to get a safe seat, not surprising though, for when you look at our M.P.'s over the years we have been burdened with every kind of pervert, liars and thieves imaginable, they are the dregs of society. I don't want this excuse for a human being to get one penny out of my taxes, he should pay up and shut up.
Is it "The Gays" that you don't like, or the Tories?
[quote][p][bold]yyy's1[/bold] wrote: The disgraceful conduct of this man over the years doesn't say much for the quality of conservatives in the Ribble Valley. If they couldn't find a better more fitting person amongst their own to be their M.P. it's a sad reflection on them. It seems pretty obvious from what's been going on how he came to get a safe seat, not surprising though, for when you look at our M.P.'s over the years we have been burdened with every kind of pervert, liars and thieves imaginable, they are the dregs of society. I don't want this excuse for a human being to get one penny out of my taxes, he should pay up and shut up.[/p][/quote]Is it "The Gays" that you don't like, or the Tories? midas
  • Score: -6

3:29pm Mon 14 Apr 14

shytalk says...

You are complaining about your legal bill Nigel when it was your party that did away with legal aid? You will be complaining about having to do workfare after next year and you can't get a job.
You are complaining about your legal bill Nigel when it was your party that did away with legal aid? You will be complaining about having to do workfare after next year and you can't get a job. shytalk
  • Score: 16

4:20pm Mon 14 Apr 14

Champagne plus charlie says...

Whether or not I like or support Evans, I have to say I agree with a lot of what he has said:

The law is ridiculous that rape victims get anonymity but their accusers do not. Also if he has fought a legal battle to clear his name why shouldn't he get his legal fees paid back to him, had he lost the case he would have been liable for the prosecution costs - the CPS have been far too reactionary in bringing some of these cases to court and they should be held accountable in my opinion.
Whether or not I like or support Evans, I have to say I agree with a lot of what he has said: The law is ridiculous that rape victims get anonymity but their accusers do not. Also if he has fought a legal battle to clear his name why shouldn't he get his legal fees paid back to him, had he lost the case he would have been liable for the prosecution costs - the CPS have been far too reactionary in bringing some of these cases to court and they should be held accountable in my opinion. Champagne plus charlie
  • Score: -8

6:11pm Mon 14 Apr 14

Stone Island: says...

If someone is prosecuted in court and they lose, then they have to pay the prosecutions costs, so by the same token, should they be found not guilty, why shouldn't they have their costs paid?
If someone is prosecuted in court and they lose, then they have to pay the prosecutions costs, so by the same token, should they be found not guilty, why shouldn't they have their costs paid? Stone Island:
  • Score: 10

7:09pm Mon 14 Apr 14

ConcernedOssy says...

The old faithfull wrote:
The front of this Guy, he expects us the Tax payers ,we fund the C P S, to pay his legal expenses.. He misbehaves in the commons bars ,warned about his behaviour by the Tory high command ,yet still continues and wonders why he ends up in court. Although found not guilty ,therefore not illegal behaviour, it doesn't mean to say it never took place. The man should do the decent think for once in his life and resign his seat in the commons, he his nor a fit person to represent me in the House of Parliament. .
He's now returning to Westminster as a "BACKBENCHER" now there's a novelty at least he won't need any training !!!! LOL
[quote][p][bold]The old faithfull[/bold] wrote: The front of this Guy, he expects us the Tax payers ,we fund the C P S, to pay his legal expenses.. He misbehaves in the commons bars ,warned about his behaviour by the Tory high command ,yet still continues and wonders why he ends up in court. Although found not guilty ,therefore not illegal behaviour, it doesn't mean to say it never took place. The man should do the decent think for once in his life and resign his seat in the commons, he his nor a fit person to represent me in the House of Parliament. .[/p][/quote]He's now returning to Westminster as a "BACKBENCHER" now there's a novelty at least he won't need any training !!!! LOL ConcernedOssy
  • Score: 8

9:49pm Mon 14 Apr 14

happycyclist says...

Stone Island: wrote:
If someone is prosecuted in court and they lose, then they have to pay the prosecutions costs, so by the same token, should they be found not guilty, why shouldn't they have their costs paid?
Is there a flat rate or does the amount depend on who you/the other person hired to defend/prosecute?
This is where the legal system is f*****. There should be no paying more for 'better' representation.
[quote][p][bold]Stone Island:[/bold] wrote: If someone is prosecuted in court and they lose, then they have to pay the prosecutions costs, so by the same token, should they be found not guilty, why shouldn't they have their costs paid?[/p][/quote]Is there a flat rate or does the amount depend on who you/the other person hired to defend/prosecute? This is where the legal system is f*****. There should be no paying more for 'better' representation. happycyclist
  • Score: 12

10:05am Tue 15 Apr 14

Noiticer says...

The pleading of this man is pathetic as he has voted for almost al the damaging legislation, including the scrapping of legal aid, which has made this country a less civilised place in which to live. Perhaps he will now reflect on his actions and realise just how pernicious his party's policies are.
The pleading of this man is pathetic as he has voted for almost al the damaging legislation, including the scrapping of legal aid, which has made this country a less civilised place in which to live. Perhaps he will now reflect on his actions and realise just how pernicious his party's policies are. Noiticer
  • Score: 11

6:49pm Wed 16 Apr 14

ConcernedOssy says...

He's got plenty of front, pardon the pun
He's got plenty of front, pardon the pun ConcernedOssy
  • Score: 5

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