Hepburn faces sex claim retrial
A PERTH cricketer accused of raping a sleeping woman shortly after she had sex with his friend faces the prospect of a re-trial after a UK jury failed to reach a verdict.
Alex Hepburn, 23, was playing county cricket for Worcestershire in April 2017 when it is alleged he crept into the bedroom of teammate Joe Clarke and sexually assaulted a woman Mr Clarke had just had consensual sex with.
After a five-day trial, the jury deliberated for more than nine hours but could not reach consensus despite being offered the chance by Judge Jim Tindal to reach a majority 10-2 decision.
Instead the jury was discharged, Hepburn was bailed and a provisional retrial date was listed for April 8.
The Crown Prosecution Service now has two weeks to decide whether or not to pursue a retrial.
Earlier, prosecutor Miranda Moore QC alleged Hepburn was motivated by a sexual conquest “game” after setting up a WhatsApp group chat to keep a record of the number of women he and his friends had slept with. In testimony to Worcestershire Crown Court on Tuesday, the victim said she was initially asleep during the alleged rape and thought Hepburn was his teammate Mr Clarke, who had in fact left the room to throw up in the bathroom.
Hepburn was born in WA and moved to England in 2013 to pursue a cricket career. He strongly denies two charges of rape, claiming the alleged victim was awake and that initial kissing led to consensual sexual contact.
In doubt: Alex Hepburn outside court this week.