Norfolk

Ex-Norwich player denies sexual assault at nightclub

Norwich Crown Court
Image caption Appearing before Norwich Crown Court, Robert Eagle denied sexual assault

An ex-Norwich City player got "carried away" after drinking and touched a woman "inappropriately", the city's crown court has heard.

Robert Eagle, 31, of Leiston, Suffolk, is accused of putting his hand up a woman's skirt at the Mercy nightclub in Norwich on 3 February 2018.

He told the court the caressing gesture he made over a woman's bottom "was just banter" to make his friends laugh.

Mr Eagle, of Leiston, Suffolk, denies sexually assaulting the woman.

The court heard, that after the woman complained to bouncers Mr Eagle, who last played for Norwich City Football Club in 2008, was removed from the club.

Jane Oldfield prosecuting said: "The truth is you got carried away under the influence of alcohol and touched the victim inappropriately."

Mr Eagle denied the accusation.

Bottles of whisky

Norwich Crown Court heard he had been on an annual night out with 10 other team mates from Leiston Football Club and was also celebrating the birth of his new baby.

The group had been to a pub in Norwich from about 21:00 GMT for two hours before going to the nightclub and making their way to a booth in the VIP area.

They consumed bottles of whisky and vodka while there, although Mr Eagle said he had only had two or three drinks.

In his filmed police interview, shown to the court, Mr Eagle said he remembered "misbehaving, doing lads things" but denied touching the victim.

Giving evidence for the prosecution, former manager of Mercy Glen Sarabi said Mr Eagle became "very irritable" after being taken outside the club while the police were called.

Mr Sarabi said Mr Eagle told him: "I know I've done wrong, let me just step over the rope and we'll forget about all this."

In court Mr Eagle said he had only apologised for the gesture "which was wrong" and was shocked when a police officer arrested him for sexual assault.

The court heard CCTV images from the nightclub did not capture the VIP area.

The case continues.

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