British politician Nigel Evans ‘sexually abused young men’, court is told

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 11 March, 2014, 9:04pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 11 March, 2014, 9:04pm


The former deputy speaker of Britain's House of Commons sexually abused young men in parliament and at a Conservative party conference, a court heard.

Nigel Evans, 56, had the "ability to make or break" the careers of those who wished to work in Westminster and he used his "powerful" influence to assault them, a jury heard on Monday.

Evans denies nine charges dating from 2002 to 2013, involving seven men, including two of indecent assault, six of sexual assault and one of rape.

He was often drunk when he acted, Preston Crown Court in northwest England was told.

Prosecutor Mark Heywood said Evans assaulted the men despite a series of warnings from his colleagues to stop.

"This behaviour did not happen once but has been repeated over time and despite repeated warnings given to him by others," Heywood said.

"It has also escalated in seriousness, no doubt because he believed that his position made it less than likely that someone would complain. The prosecution alleges that he, on separate occasions over many years, has sexually assaulted young men, both in public situations and in private.

"By the last of these, in early 2013, he raped one of the young men."

Evans was forced to resign as deputy speaker of the House of Commons in September after he was charged.

One assault allegedly took place at a bar during the Conservative Party conference in Blackpool in 2003.

Evans, said to be very drunk, stood next to the complainant and "without warning or any kind of invitation" he put his right hand down the young man's trousers, the prosecutor said.

The complainant was aware that journalists were in the bar and "discreetly removed" Evans' hand, but was "annoyed and embarrassed", the court heard.

Another alleged victim said he had wanted Evans to resign after he was assaulted at the lawmaker's home.

The trial continues.