Former all-rounder Alex Hepburn loses appeal against rape conviction

Updated: Jul 01, 2020, 07:21 IST | ANI | London

As per a report in ESPNCricinfo, the jury heard that the victim had thought she was having consensual sex with Hepburn's then county colleague Joe Clarke, in April 2017

Alex Hepburn
Alex Hepburn

Former Worcestershire allrounder Alex Hepburn on Tuesday lost appeal against his conviction for rape. Hepburn had been sentenced to five years in prison in April 2019 as he was convicted on one count of rape following a retrial at Worcestershire Crown Court, ESPNCricinfo reported. As per a report in ESPNCricinfo, the jury heard that the victim had thought she was having consensual sex with Hepburn's then county colleague Joe Clarke, in April 2017.

During the trial, it was also found out by the jury as to how Hepburn used to rate women in text messages to his team-mates. It was also been alleged that Hepburn took advantage of his victim after finding her alone on a mattress on the floor of the flat he shared with Clarke. But at the Court of Appeal, Hepburn's barrister, David Emanuel QC argued that the text messages should not have been used as evidence in the case.

"The idea propagated by the Crown, that he was so desperate to win the game this year that he would ignore true consent if he had to, is just not supported by anything in the messages or by the fact of the game itself," ESPNCricinfo quoted Emanuel as saying. "I accept it would be different if there was talk of sex against will or trickery to gain a point, or taking a chance, but there's nothing like that in the messages. They are too far removed as to be able to be to do with the facts of the alleged offence," he added.

The panel of three senior judges, including the Lord Chief Justice, Ian Burnett have now rejected the appeal of Hepburn. Following this case, the Professional Cricketers Association (PCA) with the help of funding from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has established a sexual consent training workshop.

Every England player, male and female, as well as players at all 18 first-class counties and all Kia Super League teams, were obliged to attend the classes.

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