Hereford & Worcester

Worcestershire cricketer Alex Hepburn will face rape retrial

Alex Hepburn arrives at court on Wednesday Image copyright Ben Birchall/PA Wire
Image caption Alex Hepburn is due to face a retrial over rape allegations during a hearing in April

Former Worcestershire cricketer Alex Hepburn will face a retrial over rape claims.

Prosecutors accused him of assaulting a woman after she had consensual sex with his ex-team-mate Joe Clarke in April 2017.

He denied two counts of rape and a jury was discharged after it failed to reach verdicts during a five-day trial earlier this month.

The 23-year-old will face a new trial at Worcester Crown Court on 8 April.

The alleged victim told the first trial she woke up to find Australian-born Mr Hepburn performing a sex act on her.

Mr Hepburn claimed that the encounter happened after a night out, and that she was awake and initial kissing led to consensual sexual contact.

Jurors - made up of eight women and four men - deliberated for more than nine-hours before telling the judge they were unlikely to agree on verdicts.

A majority direction was also given by the judge, but the panel were still unable to decide.

The Crown Prosecution Service has opted for a retrial after consulting on the decision for almost two weeks.

A CPS spokeswoman said: "After careful consideration of the case against Alex Hepburn, including consultation with the complainant, we have decided to seek a retrial."

Mr Hepburn, of Portland Street, Worcester, has been released on bail.

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