Rape Allegation Ends United's Festive Cheer

A festive party for Manchester United soccer stars has turned into a nightmare for both the players and management as an allegation of rape threatens to blacken the reputation of both the team and the locally born player involved.

Northern Ireland's Jonny Evans has been interviewed and then bailed by police investigating the incident - an alleged rape - at a hotel in Manchester city centre.

Police were called to the Great John Street Hotel early on Tuesday after reports a woman, 26, had been raped.

Mr Evans, 19, went voluntarily to a police station on Tuesday evening and was arrested and quizzed by officers.

He was then allowed bail, until 23 February.

The hotel was hosting a private party attended on Tuesday by members of the Manchester United squad and other guests.

However, things turned sour after Greater Manchester Police were called to the hotel on Great John Street, in the Castlefield area of the city, at about 4.15am on Tuesday.

Then, later the same day, a police spokesman said: "A 19-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of rape this evening after presenting himself to police."

Jonny Evans has been a United squad member for some time and made his first appearance for United in September after spending last season on loan to Sunderland.

He has also played for Northern Ireland eight times.

Manchester United have declined to comment on the case.


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

28 March 2007
House of Lords vote for ‘50/50’ police force
The House of Lords has renewed the 50/50 recruitment rule for the PSNI by a majority of 44. It puts into practice a recommendation made in 1999 by Lord Patten that the local police force should be split evenly between Catholics and Protestants. The result of the vote was 141 to 97.
03 August 2006
Third man charged over Tobermore murder
A third man has been charged in connection with the murder of a Scotsman in County Londonderry in the early hours of Saturday morning. Paul Eric Cecil Johnston, 20, from Park View, Castledawson, County Londonderry, replied "not guilty" when the charge was put to him. Yesterday, two other men appeared in court in connection with the killing.
09 December 2002
George Best honoured for lifetime achievement
Former Manchester United and Northern Ireland football star, George Best, has been honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year show.
01 August 2002
Best recovery continues after liver transplant
Northern Ireland football legend George Best has been moved out of intensive care after making good progress following a liver transplant. Doctors said Best's progress since undergoing surgery at a London hospital on Tuesday was pleasing.
24 July 2001
NI goalkeeper set to join Manchester United
Northern Ireland international goalkeeper Roy Carroll is set to join Manchester United from Wigan Athletic for a fee of around £2.5 million. Carroll has already had two dream moves to a Premiership club falter this summer after Leicester and Everton both pulled out of deals for differing reasons.