Evans assault claims 'a conspiracy'

Romsey Advertiser: Former deputy speaker of the House of Commons Nigel Evans arrives at Preston Crown Court where he faces nine charges of sexual offences against seven men Former deputy speaker of the House of Commons Nigel Evans arrives at Preston Crown Court where he faces nine charges of sexual offences against seven men

Deputy speaker Nigel Evans told police a former Westminster worker who accused him of a sexual assault was "Machiavellian" and at the "centre of the web" of a plot against him.

The MP suggested his alleged victim had "choreographed events" as he was the common link between four other complainants in the case.

Evans, the MP for Ribble Valley in Lancashire, denies any wrongdoing and claims a "conspiracy" is at work involving an "old pals act".

He is accused of sexually assaulting seven men and today his trial at Preston Crown Court heard his replies to questions by detectives after he was arrested in May last year.

Evans, 56, told officers the allegation of rape by one man had been made because of the "incredibly close" relationship between him and the bi-sexual co-accuser whom he described as "Machiavellian and manipulative".

The MP added: "Incredibly mischievous. Incredible. They must have talked about this stuff."

The rape complainant, then aged 22, alleges Evans assaulted him after a dinner party at the MP's home in the village of Pendleton, Lancashire, in March last year.

But Evans described the complainant as a "strapping lad" who was a "willing participant" as the sex was consensual.

The officer questioned Evans as to why the complainant left Evans' home the next morning without telling him.

"Buyers regret," the MP said. "He was sorry we had sex. I accept that."

The officer asked Evans if he had drunk so much alcohol at the dinner party that his judgement on whether the complainant consented was affected.

"Certainly not," the MP replied.

Evans is alleged to have sexually assaulted seven young men on various dates between 2002 and last year by using his "powerful" political influence to take advantage of them, often while drunk.

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

None of the alleged complainants can be identified for legal reasons.

The officer put it to Evans that the alleged link to the bi-sexual man did not fit in with all the offences he is accused of as two victims did not know that complainant.

But the MP said the former Westminster worker was the "backdrop to which this whole thing has been set up. There's no two ways about it".

The MP was pressed again by the detectives - all the complainants were males, all of a similar age and all the alleged incidents took place when Evans was said to be under the influence of alcohol.

It was put to him the first alleged offence, an indecent assault by sexual touching in 2003 to the last alleged offence, the rape and sexual assault in 2013, showed a "build up in offending through to full rape".

Evans replied: "No."

He told officers he was "staggered" and "mystified" by the allegations and denies all charges.

The case continues.

The trial was adjourned until tomorrow morning.

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