Alex Hepburn rape case: Cricketer fond guilty

Australian Alex Hepburn plays county cricket for Worcestershire. More

Australian Alex Hepburn plays county cricket for Worcestershire. More

Alex Hepburn, the former Worcestershire allrounder, has been found guilty of raping a sleeping woman following a retrial at Worcester Crown Court.

Hepburn sighed and then slumped into his seat, covered his face with his hands and sobbed after the unanimous guilty verdict was returned.

Hepburn will be sentenced at Hereford crown court on 30 April.

Prosecutors allege Hepburn, aged 23, began to rape the woman while she was asleep after getting into her bed, where she had earlier had consensual sex with his then team-mate Joe Clarke.

Ms Moore described WhatsApp messages sent by Hepburn - including one urging cricketers playing the "stat game" to rate sexual partners out of 10 - as "dehumanising" of women.

Jurors heard Hepburn attacked his victim as he wanted to beat Joe Clarke who had won the "competition" past year.

Worcester Crown Court heard that a couple of days before the attack, Hepburn, Mr Clarke and another friend known only as Tom, set up the WhatsApp group called "Stat Chat".

"The WCCC board and CEO were first made aware of the arrest and subsequent charge of Mr Hepburn on 10th November 2017; WCCC then took immediate and decisive action".

The complainant, who can not be identified, told the court she was left shocked and distressed after opening her eyes and realising she was having sex with Hepburn and not Clarke, who was asleep elsewhere in the flat.

The woman, who can not be identified, said she had her eyes closed and engaged in 20 minutes of sexual activity with the Australian-born cricketer in a dimly lit bedroom before "clocking" who he was when he spoke.

That exchange was explained in court by Hepburn as being "light" use of the word rape, used jokingly in an attempt to get under Clarke's skin.

"I am adjourning your case for the preparation of a pre-sentence report".

"She was engaging in the act so I presumed she was enjoying it", said Hepburn.

"It would not be a kindness to you to leave you under any false impression as to the goal of that report".

Worcestershire chairman Fanos Hira said in a statement on the club's website that they were appalled by the details reported.

Asked when the woman is alleged to have realised she was not with Mr Clarke, Mr Hepburn added: "She said 'what are you doing?'"

Star Wars Episode IX Celebration Panel Recap
Julian Assange may still face rape charge in Sweden, prosecutors say