Manchester

Ex-footballer Chris Killen admits sex attack

Chris Killen Image copyright PA
Image caption Chris Killen denied the offence initially

A former professional footballer has admitted sexually assaulting a young woman as she slept in her bed.

Ex-Oldham Athletic and Celtic player Chris Killen, 35, had initially denied the offence at Manchester Crown Court, Minshull Street.

The court heard he was in a "stupefied state" from alcohol when he went into the spare bedroom of the house in Bury and touched the woman sexually.

He admitted the offence shortly before he was due to go on trial.

Lisa Judge, defending, said the guilty plea was made on a "specific basis" as to what Killen admitted doing, and this had been accepted by the prosecution.

The basis of the plea was not given in court and no further details about the sexual assault were made public.

Miss Judge said Killen, of London Road, Adlington, near Macclesfield, had "no relevant" previous convictions.

'Serious matter'

Gary Woodall, prosecuting, said Killen's plea was "inconsistent" with the complainant's statement to police.

But after "lengthy discussion" Mr Woodall said the complainant had "taken the lead" and there would now not be a trial given Killen's admission of guilt.

Judge Maurice Greene adjourned the hearing for pre-sentence and psychiatric reports.

He gave Killen bail but added: "At the end of the day, this was a sexual assault on a sleeping young woman. It's a serious matter.

"All sentencing options will remain open to the court."

New Zealand-born Killen, who started his career with Manchester City, represented his country in the 2010 World Cup after playing for Middlesbrough and Celtic.

His playing career also included stints at Hibernian, Norwich, Oldham Athletic, Port Vale and Wrexham.

He will be sentenced on 1 August.