Jury fails to reach verdict and is discharged in trial of cricketer accused of raping sleeping woman after she’d had sex with team-mate to help him win Whatsapp sex game
- Jury in the trial Alex Hepburn has been discharged after failing to reach verdicts
- Former Worcestershire all-rounder Alex Hepburn, 23, denies two counts of rape
- Judge Jim Tindal told jury earlier in the day he would accept a majority verdict
- Hepburn, 23, was accused of taking advantage of his student victim in April 2017
Alex Hepburn, pictured arriving at Worcester Crown Court with girlfriend Lucy Street yesteday. A jury failed to reach a verdict today
A jury has been discharged after failing to reach a verdict in the trial of a cricketer accused of raping a sleeping woman after she’d had sex with his team-mate.
Former Worcestershire all-rounder Alex Hepburn, 23, denies two counts of rape alleged to have been committed in April 2017.
Judge Jim Tindal told the jury earlier in the day he would accept a majority verdict but after deliberating for more than nine hours they could not come to a decision following a five-day trial at Worcester Crown Court.
Hepburn, 23, was accused of taking advantage of his student victim shortly after she had slept with his 22-year-old teammate Joe Clarke.
The woman, in her 20s, met ex-England Lions star Clarke in a nightclub before going back to his flat in Worcester, where she had consensual sex with him.
After they had sex and Clarke passed out on the toilet, she claimed she woke up hours later to find Mr Hepburn raping her.
The court heard how Hepburn and Clarke, who both played for Worcestershire CCC, started a sexual conquest game just days earlier via WhatsApp called ‘Stat Chat’.
Mr Hepburn, who was accompanied throughout the trial by girlfriend Lucy Street, said the rules of the group were set up by him for a bit of ‘fun’ and admitted he had threesomes in the past with Clarke.
The cricketer (pictured with girlfriend Lucy Street) was pictured throughout the trial holding hands with his partner as he arrived at court
But he denied allegations he thought he was ‘God’s gift to Worcester’ and that he had raped the woman out of desperation to try and win the contest.
‘The competition was about sleeping with different women,’ he told the court. ‘I am completely embarrassed, my family has had to see them – it was nothing more than just immature chat between friends.
Alex Hepburn (pictured arriving at court today) has been cleared of rape
‘It didn’t mean anything – it was us bragging to each other. We wrote immaturely. I used the word rape in the chat because I was young and it didn’t mean anything to me. I have never thought the definition of the word was funny.
‘In that chat we spoke about taking a photo and captioning it “top sh*****” for the winner.
‘Me and Joe boasted in the group we would do well. The year before I finished second to Joe. Not much thought went into this at the time. This accusation is the reason why I stopped the game – it scared me.’
The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, says she fled the flat after the alleged attack. Jurors hear she was discovered distressed and sobbing in the street by a passer-by.
Giving evidence, Mr Hepburn said she ‘fully engaged’ in having sex with him and ‘seemed to enjoy it’.
He said he entered Mr Clarke’s room at their flat – after seeing him leaning against a wall in the bathroom – because he had previously arranged to sleep in his friend’s bed.
Standing by her man: The girlfriend who held Alex Hepburn’s hand every day in the face of rape allegations
As Alex Hepburn faced allegations of rape at Worcester Crown Court, there was one stable presence by his side.
Each day the all-rounder was pictured holding hands with student Lucy Rtreet as he headed in to face trial.
Ms Street is currently studying graphic design at Nottingham Trent University in the East Midlands.
She and the sportsman have been pictured in loving embraces on her Facebook profile, which features holiday snaps of them lapping up the sun in a swimming pool.
The couple have been dating for at least 14 months and Ms Street was spotted dutifully supporting her boyfriend each day in this week’s court case.
Mr Hepburn is pictured with Lucy Street, who accompanied him daily at his trial as he faced allegations of rape
A holiday snap shows the couple enjoying a dip in the bool underneath the sun. Mr Hepburn wast today cleared of rape
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