Hepburn was sentenced after being found guilty on one count of oral rape by Worcestershire Crown Court. © Getty
Alex Hepburn, the Worcestershire cricketer, who was sentenced to five years in prison for rape last year, has lost his appeal against the conviction. Hepburn was sentenced after being found guilty on one count of oral rape by Worcestershire Crown Court.
Hepburn and Joe Clarke were both involved in a sexual conquest game which involved seeing how many women they could sleep with, bragging about it on Whatsapp. Clarke and the woman had had consensual sex earlier in the evening before she was raped by Hepburn with the Judge confirming neither the woman nor Clarke, had done anything wrong.
Hepburn’s barrister, however, argued that the messages exchanged on Whatsapp should not be considered in the evidence. “The idea propagated by the Crown, that he was so desperate to win the game this year that he would ignore true consent if he had to, is just not supported by anything in the messages or by the fact of the game itself,” David Emanuel QC said. “I accept it would be different if there was talk of sex against will or trickery to gain a point, or taking a chance, but there’s nothing like that in the messages. They are too far removed as to be able to be to do with the facts of the alleged offence.”
The victim was left with post-traumatic stress disorder and had described the ordeal as “evil” and “heinous crime” last year. “I mourn who I used to be,” her statement read. “I can’t remember the last time I went anywhere without creating mental escape plans, just in case.”
When sentencing, Judge Jim Tindal, too was particularly stern with his words. “It emerged in the trial you and Clarke had agreed a pathetic, sexist game to collect as many sexual encounters as possible,” he had said. “You probably thought it was laddish behaviour at the time. In truth, it was foul sexism. It demeaned women and trivialised rape – a word you personally threw around lightly. Only now do you realise how serious rape is.
“You thought you were God’s gift to women. You did see her at that moment as a piece of meat, not a woman entitled to respect. You scarred both your lives forever.”
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