Debate over Ched Evans is at fever pitch & yes, I have been in the midst of disagreements around Ched Evans & his right to return to a role within his profession. Football. I tend to hang around with grown ups capable of debating points in a respectful & courteous manner. I do not lash out in anger and as people are not in any way, rude, profane or discourteous in their responses, despite our differing opinions, respect for my opponents in the topic remains intact.
It is no secret I have been close to ending up in a slammer for my criminal acts. Fraud is a serious offence. As any person, I was given the right to defend my behaviours. I pleaded guilty to the crimes, apart from one, which I did not commit. This charge was withdrawn by the Crown. It was an allegation with malicious intent and there was not enough evidence to convict. Not enough evidence in that I was not present at the scene of the alleged crime. No alibi either. My case was heard, I was convicted, sentenced, vilified by the local rag and did what I reckon was a fairly good effort, without relying on the state, of returning to work. A different work. Friends deserted me, family too, a home was a distant memory & my mental health was about as low as the opinion of me. Many of my clients deserted me, I had a business, I also had a job. It was all gone. In the grand scheme of things, I was pretty useless as a criminal. Still, fraud is fraud.
I created a different path. I had no choice. I began to build up my business in a different frame of mind. My children featured a lot. One day, they might read this & know their mother does not resemble Ma Baker. I created work for myself by tapping into skills developed over two decades. Work has always been my solace. I met new friends, got a home, developed my business & with some fine people, created SHE. My cherished project that brings me glee, tears, an overdraft & a raft full of problems.
Ched Evans has a conviction. He has a conviction for the rape of a woman. A conviction he strenuously denies. I know what I did, not what he did. He is, however, a person with this conviction hanging over him. My sentence is complete. I am off licence. He is not. This is not said with glee. He suffers at the hands of the public just as I did (albeit less than his public slating) He has a home, a loving girlfriend who has stood by him and his mother steadfast in her support. Mine was too. She was there every step of the way with me. RIP Mammy.
Rehabilitation is not a word I use to describe what offenders have to do. Anything with *re* in front of it, suggests to me a U-Turn. Equally, how is a person to rehabilitate if they were never habilitated in the first place? Mr Evans does not need to be rehabilitated or habilitated. By footballing standards, he was a good striker, mind you, what do I know? I say give them all a ball each & stop them squabbling over one. He maintains his innocence and feels he should be able to return to football. Naturally, he may feel resentful he is unable to do so. Many of his supporters are outraged he is unable to do so. They blame the victim of his crime, the public for signing petitions, that bastion of goodness, (MoJ) but I have yet to see any of those who support his return to football, actually look at why he is unable to.
Here is why. He is unable to because he is serving a sentence for a rape conviction. Today, tomorrow, next week, next month, maybe next year, he is serving a sentence for a rape conviction. If that conviction is overturned by the Court of Appeal, Mr Evans is a man who has suffered a miscarriage of justice. Rape is a violent offence. There is no rape that is small, medium or large. It is an invasion of the highest order. Fraud is fraud. Rape is rape. Rape is physical violence. Fraud is financial violence. I tend to get real about my crimes and that is because I developed a conscience. I had no right to commit those acts against my family.
Furthermore, football clubs play a large part in any town or city. They have a social responsibility to their fans, the towns & cities they represent. Their boards make decisions to benefit the business side and keeping fans as happy as possible is likely in their best interests. They as a business have a right to assess any talented player on the open market. Mr Evans has been considered and at the time of writing, is still being considered by one club. Mr Evan’s fans are outraged he has not been signed. Cries of offenders should be allowed to work are heard. Really? I have been saying this for two years. But there are some roles, that people cannot work in. If I landed a role as the Bank of England guv, I reckon there might be some outcry of my colourful history as a fraudster from law-abiding citizens with a megaphone. It is of course, outlandish to think I could possibly aspire to such a role without my history, but I sure as hell ain’t gonna be in the running for it now. I couldn’t bear the rejection letter. Same applies to Mr Evans, I am afraid. A desire to return to his profession is understandable. But life is never the same for anybody who has been through the CJS. Life certainly will never be the same again for the young woman who now leads a very different life to the one she had. My experiences altered my world to how I once saw it. William Roache & Michael Le Vell would no doubt agree with me. As traumatic as it was for them, justice was done. I had justice in my case. Convicted of my acts, not being subjected to a trial for a crime I did not commit. Despite it being an outrageous lie, I have no wish to have the person who maliciously accused me, locked up. It will not make me feel better. I received justice.
Whatever our opinions on Mr Evans returning to football, the final outcome will be what it is, once the wheels of the justice system has its final say. The only winner in all of this, is the media. With a media frenzy, comes money & lots of it.