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Cricketer guilty of raping woman as part of WhatsApp group ‘game’

Ex-Worcestershire CCC all-rounder Alex Hepburn was found guilty of one count of oral rape after a retrial.

Cricketer Alex Hepburn (Aaron Chown/PA)
Cricketer Alex Hepburn (Aaron Chown/PA)

A former county cricketer has been found guilty of raping a sleeping woman during a sexual conquest “game”.

Ex-Worcestershire CCC all-rounder Alex Hepburn was found guilty of one count of oral rape after a retrial.

Jurors at Worcester Crown Court deliberated for 10 hours and 53 minutes before delivering a unanimous verdict.

Hepburn sighed and then slumped into his seat, covered his face with his hands and sobbed after the verdict was returned by the foreman.

He was cleared of a second count of rape and will be sentenced at Hereford Crown Court on April 30.

He had denied the two counts of rape relating to the alleged attack in the early hours of April 1, 2017, at his flat in Portland Street, Worcester.

There is only one sentence that can properly be handed down in this case, and a custodial sentence is inevitable Judge Jim Tindal

During his evidence on Wednesday, Hepburn admitted he sent “disgusting, horrible and embarrassing” WhatsApp messages while setting the rules of the sexual conquest competition.

Bailing Hepburn following the verdicts, Judge Jim Tindal told him a jail sentence was “inevitable”.

He said: “You have been convicted and now fall to be sentenced.

“I am adjourning your case for the preparation of a pre-sentence report. But it would not be a kindness to you to leave you under any false impression as to the purpose of that report.

“There is only one sentence that can properly be handed down in this case, and a custodial sentence is inevitable.

“You need to prepare yourself and get matters in order and attend Hereford Crown Court on the 30th of April.”

The judge also said that his provisional view was that verdicts indicated that Hepburn’s belief in the woman’s consent had been unreasonable.

PA

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