AL­LEGED VIC­TIM IN CRICK­ETER RAPE TRIAL BREAKS DOWN IN COURT: ‘I was tipsy ...but well aware of what I was do­ing’

Midweek Sport - - NEWS -

A WOMAN al­leged to have been raped by a crick­eter broke down af­ter be­ing asked about her “hazy” mem­ory of con­sen­sual sex with one of his team-mates.

The com­plainant – who can­not be iden­ti­fied – asked for a break in her tes­ti­mony af­ter be­com­ing tear­ful dur­ing ques­tion­ing on be­half of Worces­ter­shire all-rounder Alex Hep­burn.

Hep­burn, 23, de­nies rap­ing the woman, who told the court she was ini­tially asleep and wrongly thought she was hav­ing sex with for­mer Worces­ter­shire bats­man Joe Clarke.

A jury at Worces­ter Crown Court has been told both Hep­burn and Mr Clarke were in­volved in a sex­ual con­quest “game” – af­ter set­ting up a “stat chat” page to keep a record of sex with women.

Dur­ing her ev­i­dence on the sec­ond day of the trial, the al­leged vic­tim re­jected a sug­ges­tion that her mem­ory of her ini­tial sex­ual con­tact with Hep­burn was “not com­pletely clear”.

Hep­burn’s lawyer, Michelle Hee­ley QC, asked the woman whether she was “fairly drunk” af­ter drink­ing wine, prosecco and spir­its dur­ing a night out prior to the al­leged rape in April 2017.

She re­sponded: “I was tipsy but well aware of what I was do­ing.”

Af­ter the woman told the court some of the de­tails of what hap­pened on the night were “a bit hazy”, Ms Hee­ley asked her whether she had re­mained still dur­ing sex with Hep­burn.

The wit­ness, giv­ing ev­i­dence from be­hind a cur­tain, then be­gan sob­bing and ac­cepted the judge’s of­fer of a break in the pro­ceed­ings.

Fol­low­ing a 15-minute ad­journ­ment, Ms Hee­ley sug­gested that Hep­burn and the woman had “moved around the bed” dur­ing the al­leged rape over a pe­riod of at least 20 min­utes.

The al­leged vic­tim told the jury: “I was asleep. From what I can re­mem­ber I was ly­ing still on my back.”

Dur­ing her ev­i­dence, the woman con­ceded that she did not have a “100 per cent clear” mem­ory of hav­ing con­sen­sual sex with Clarke be­fore the al­leged rape.

But she de­nied that she had felt Hep­burn get into bed, wo­ken up, opened her eyes, be­gun to kiss him and then per­formed a sex act on him.

Ms Hee­ley said: “The fact it con­tin­ued for 10 min­utes, I sug­gest, shows it was some­thing you were ac­tively en­joy­ing and en­gag­ing in?”

The woman re­sponded: “No. My eyes weren’t open.”

Ms Hee­ley went on: “Noth­ing that you had said or done would have told Mr Hep­burn that you weren’t en­joy­ing this sex?”

The woman replied: pushed him off when re­alised, but be­fore, no.”

Ear­lier in the trial, the jury was told Hep­burn raped the woman af­ter help­ing to set up a sex­ual con­quest “game” with friends on What­sApp.

Ju­rors heard the vic­tim ini­tially be­lieved she was “I I DE­NIAL: Alex Hep­burn still in bed with Mr Clarke, who had left the room to be sick, af­ter wak­ing up to find Aus­tralian-born Hep­burn per­form­ing a sex act on her.

Open­ing the pros­e­cu­tion’s case on Mon­day, Mi­randa Moore QC said the al­leged vic­tim re­alised she was not with Mr Clarke when he spoke in an Aus­tralian ac­cent.

The pros­e­cu­tor told Worces­ter Crown Court a mem­ber of the pub­lic di­alled 999 in the early hours af­ter find­ing the com­plainant “dis­tressed and cry­ing” in the street in April 2017.

Ms Moore said the woman had sex with Hep­burn as she be­lieved he was “the man she fell asleep with” and was left hor­ri­fied when she re­alised he was not Mr Clarke.

Hep­burn de­nies two counts of rape, claim­ing the al­leged vic­tim was awake and that ini­tial kiss­ing led to con­sen­sual sex­ual con­tact.

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