Port Vale star Clayton McDonald cleared of rape as Ched Evans jailed
Port Vale footballer Clayton McDonald has been found not guilty of raping a woman at a Premier Inn hotel.
Mr McDonald, 23, was cleared of raping the then 19-year-old following a night out in Rhyl, north Wales, last May.
His co-defendant, Sheffield United footballer Ched Evans, also 23, was found guilty of the same charge and has been jailed for five years.
Caernarfon Crown Court heard the men admitted having sex with the woman but said it was consensual.
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The prosecution claimed the woman was too drunk to consent.
The jury took four hours and 52 minutes to come to their verdicts.
Supporters of Mr McDonald, of Marys Gate, Crewe, shouted "yes" as the not guilty verdict was read.
The public gallery was cleared before the guilty verdict against Evans, of Penistone, was heard.
In a statement on the Port Vale FC website, Mr McDonald's legal team said: "Clayton McDonald has maintained his innocence from the start and is relieved at his verdict.
"However, he is very upset and disappointed regarding the verdict given to his lifelong friend, Ched Evans, whom he will continue to support in any way possible.
"Clayton would like to thank his family, friends, the staff and fans of Port Vale Football Club and his legal team for their continued support."
Evans's lawyers said he was "shocked and extremely disappointed" and was being advised about a possible appeal.