Lancashire MP ‘staggered’ over arrest
Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans admitted having sex with a man 33 years his junior but told police: “We are not talking about a wilting flower here.”
And the former Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons, who denies a series of sex offences, told detectives he was “staggered” at being arrested, and sat in a police interview room accused of rape, Preston Crown Court heard.
Evans is said to have raped the young man, then aged 22, following a dinner party at his home in Pendleton in March 2013.
The jury heard his answers to questions from detectives at Preston Police Station following his arrest on May 4 last year, five weeks after the alleged sexual assault.
Evans, 56, told officers: “Did I have sexual contact with him, the answer is yes.
“Was it non-consensual, the answer is no.”
The MP for Ribble Valley said after drinking champagne and red wine his other dinner guests left his home, leaving him alone with the young man, who was intending to stay over in his spare room.
But they began “caressing and kissing” downstairs and Evans said when he went upstairs to go into his bedroom the young man said: “Should I follow you?” to which the MP said “Yes”, and they each took their own clothes off and had sex.
Evans told officers: “At what stage he thought what was going to happen was not consensual, I’m a bit mystified.
“Had he not wished to have any sexual contact with me he could have said so which he never did.
“He could have gone up to his own bed.
“He said, ‘Should I follow you in?’ And he did. He took his own clothes off. I did not lead him in or push him in or any of that.
“As far as I was concerned everything that occurred was consensual.
“I’m somewhat staggered by the allegations he is now making.”
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.
He denies one rape, two indecent assaults and six sexual assaults.
The MP told officers there was a “loose arrangement” for the young man to stay over and sleep in the loft conversion at his home though he also had the option to return to his own home after the party.
Evans said all his guests had been drinking but none were drunk, having downed champagne, four or five bottles of red wine and port during their meal.
The MP said he was openly gay, having “come out” in 2010 and he was also aware the young man was gay.
He said they had oral and penetrative sex and at no point did the young man say he did not want to.
The MP told officers: “He followed me upstairs, as I turned right to go into my bedroom, he said, ‘Shall I follow you?’ To which I said, ‘Yes’.
“We got into the same bed together even though there was a bed upstairs designated for him.
“Had he never wished for sexual activity at all I would have assumed he would have gone upstairs.
“Saying, ‘No’ or ‘Stop’ would have been another indicator...but of course there was none of that.”