Pay back my legal bill, Nigel Evans tells CPS
Acquitted MP says defence cost him life savings
MP Nigel Evans wants the Crown Prosecution Service to pay his legal fees after he was acquitted of sex charges last week. The former deputy speaker says it cost him his life savings of £130,000 to defend himself.
"If someone is dragged through the courts through no fault of their own and is acquitted they should get their legal fees back from the CPS budget,” he tells the Mail On Sunday. "Maybe that will make them focus on whether a case is worth pursuing,” he added.
Following a five-week trial, Evans was found not guilty of all charges, including one count of rape and four counts of sexual assault. Speaking of the experience, he says: “What I faced during this trial was a very public execution attempt. Totally callous.”
The Ribble Valley MP admits he contemplated suicide during the investigation. “Yes, in my darkest moments,” he says. “The pressure and despair were so great. Everything had gone that was dear to me. The moment you get out of bed you are hit by an Eddie Stobart truck over and again, every day.”
Meanwhile, the Sunday Mirror says the MP received support from soap star Bill Roache, who was himself cleared of sex charges earlier this year. “Bill Roache is a long-term friend of mine,” says Evans. “He helped me in my first by-election 23 years ago and over the past few months we’ve been there for each other.”