Hereford & Worcester

Cricketer Alex Hepburn 'raped sleeping girl', retrial told

Alex Hepburn arrives at court on Wednesday Image copyright Ben Birchall/PA Wire
Image caption Alex Hepburn is facing a retrial over allegations of rape

A cricketer accused of rape "took advantage of a sleeping girl" during a sexual conquest "stat game", his retrial was told.

Former Worcestershire all-rounder Alex Hepburn, 23, allegedly carried out the attack after the victim had consensual sex with his ex-teammate Joe Clarke on 1 April 2017.

Prosecutors told Worcester Crown Court that "a sleeping girl cannot consent".

Australian-born Mr Hepburn denies rape and claims the sex was consensual.

The hearing was told he posted rules of the "stat chat" game about many women they could have sex with on a WhatsApp group a week before the alleged rape.

Prosecutor Miranda Moore QC described the messages as "distasteful, laddish behaviour" and said Mr Hepburn "decided to take advantage of the sleeping girl that he knew full well was keen on Joe and not keen on him".

"A sleeping girl cannot consent. She would not have countenanced sexual activity with Mr Hepburn," she said.

"He would have known she was with his mate. She was in Joe's bed, not his. On the evidence, his bed was empty."

'Australian accent'

Mr Hepburn found the woman in his then team-mate Mr Clarke's room in a Worcester flat, having met him in a nightclub, the court was told.

She woke up and wrongly believed she was having sex with Clarke, before realising she was in bed with Mr Hepburn, jurors heard.

Jurors were shown a video interview in which the complainant said she woke to find a man who she thought was Mr Clarke straddling her.

She told police that after 10 minutes of sexual activity with Mr Hepburn, he spoke in a "thick" Australian accent and realised he was not Mr Clarke.

Mr Hepburn denies two counts of rape, claiming that kissing led to sexual contact he believed was consensual.

The trial continues.

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