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Cricketer ‘raped woman after joining WhatsApp sex game’

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An Australian cricketer raped a woman after helping set up a sexual conquest game with friends on WhatsApp, a court has heard.

Alex Hepburn, who plays for Worcestershire, allegedly attacked the woman after she had consensual sex with another player, Joe Clarke, after a night out.

The court heard the victim believed she was still in bed with Mr Clarke, who had left the room to be sick, but woke to found Hepburn performing a sex act on her.

Prosecutor Miranda Moore QC said the woman did not realise who it was until she touched Hepburn’s hair and he spoke in an Australian accent.

Ms Moore described her client’s reaction: “Immediately she pulls away, she says ‘where’s Joe?’.

“Hepburn says to her ‘you are beautiful’ and tries to encourage her to continue having sex with him but she is having absolutely none of it.”

Jurors at Worcester Crown Court were told that the woman called Hepburn, 23, a “sick bastard” and phoned a friend to tell her about the alleged rape.

A member of the public called police after finding the woman “distressed and crying” in the street in April 2017.

Ms Moore alleged that WhatsApp messages on the defendant’s mobile showed a “stat chat” group he was in recorded details of women its members had slept with.

The group chat mentioned “freshies” and “re-heats” – said to refer to women its members had or had not slept with before.

“Rules” of the group stated that “every freshie” to be “rated out of 10”, claimed Ms Moore, with the “winner” to get bragging rights and a free night out paid for by the others.

She told the court: “From the prosecution point of view it may well be that what was on this defendant’s phone will help you in deciding what he was up to that night.

“It detailed the game that these young men engaged in and intended to follow. This game had precious little to do with cricket.”

The prosecutor finished her speech to the jury by saying: “The ‘score’ that he hoped to make may well help you in the explanation as to what he was doing to her.

“He saw that girl asleep in the bed and decided to take advantage. That is what this case is about, this defendant’s attitude to women.”

Hepburn, of Worcester, denies two counts of rape, saying the woman was awake and that kissing led to consensual sexual contact.

The trial continues.

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