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Woman wanted to expose ‘love rat’ Premier League footballer, court told

The sportsman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, fled a hotel room in his underwear.

Natalie Wood outside Bristol Crown Court (Jacob King/PA)
Natalie Wood outside Bristol Crown Court (Jacob King/PA)

By Claire Hayhurst, PA

A woman wanted to expose a Premier League footballer as a “love rat” after discovering he had a partner, a court heard.

Natalie Wood, 28, had previously met the high-profile player on two occasions after he contacted her on social media.

Bristol Crown Court heard he blocked Wood from messaging him when she asked if he was in a relationship.

He later unblocked her and requested that she send him sexual videos, before arranging to meet her in a hotel.

I expected it to make good money because it is a kiss and tell story Nathan Coleman

Jurors have been told a plan was hatched for two men to burst in and to film Wood and the player in bed.

The footballer jumped from the window in his underwear after Prince Rowe, 37, and Nathan Coleman, 38, entered the room.

He later received a message from Wood threatening to expose him to the media if he did not respond within 24 hours.

Wood has admitted blackmail, while Rowe, Nathan Coleman and his brother Tyrone Coleman deny the charge.

Tyrone Coleman, 34, from Birmingham, began “seeing” Wood after he appeared on ITV’s Take Me Out last year.

She revealed that she had previously met the footballer, who cannot be named for legal reasons, at a hotel on two occasions.

“She just said that he was a love rat, that he had a girlfriend and that he could do what he wanted when he wanted,” Coleman said.

“She said she would like to sell her story to the newspapers and the media. She wanted to expose him as a love rat.”

Coleman told Wood he would speak to friends who knew how to contact journalists.

He arranged for Wood and him to meet Rowe at The Yenton pub in Birmingham last year.

“Prince was giving her angles of how she could go to the media,” Coleman said.

“We had a brief discussion of how it could be done. Basically, get him into a room, film him and then go straight to the papers.

“He would be in a sexual position with Natalie. Prince said ‘you can’t blackmail him – you have to go straight to the media’.

“I expected it to make good money because it is a kiss and tell story.”

Coleman, who worked as a healthcare assistant, insisted there was no plan to blackmail the footballer and said the money would only come from the media.

The court heard Wood messaged Coleman about a month before meeting the footballer, telling him “guess who has unblocked me on WhatsApp babe”.

“He had blocked her because she asked him questions about having a girlfriend,” Coleman told jurors.

Wood then sent Coleman: “We’re going to do this. Get rich ha”.

The player asked Wood “any vid?” ahead of the hotel room meeting, referring to sexual content from her.

Wood texted Coleman: “Think he has enough video lol. He made one himself.”

Coleman told the jury: “When they were together, during their sexual contact, he took his phone out and was taking a video of them.”

He messaged Rowe stating that the footballer’s “days are numbered” and described him as a “dirty ****” ahead of the hotel meeting.

“His days are numbered because of the messages that had gone back and forth between him and Natalie,” Coleman said.

“I called him a dirty **** because I saw the explicit messages between him and her and the things he was asking for.

“There was no plan to blackmail.”

Coleman waited outside the hotel while Wood, Rowe and his brother went inside ahead of the footballer.

Footage filmed from the room shows the footballer jumping out of the window in his underwear after Rowe and Nathan Coleman entered.

“I couldn’t believe that he jumped out of the window because the gap wasn’t very big,” Tyrone Coleman said.

The footballer, who fled to a nearby restaurant and phoned police, later sent a crying with laughter emoji to Wood.

“I thought ‘why is he sending a smiley face? He’s just jumped out the window’,” Coleman told the jury.

Wood’s phone later sent a message to the footballer stating: “I don’t really want to expose you to the media but if you don’t respond within 24 hours then you leave me no choice.”

Coleman said he told Wood to phone the player and tell him it was “not what it appears to be”.

When asked what it appeared to be, Coleman replied: “I think an ultimatum. I thought she should phone him to clear it up.”

He denies conspiracy to blackmail.

His brother Nathan Coleman, of Sussex, denies conspiracy to blackmail and two counts of theft relating to the footballer’s Rolex watch and designer tracksuit.

Prince Rowe denies conspiracy to blackmail and two counts of theft.

Ras Robinson denies a charge of handling stolen goods, relating to the Rolex watch.

The trial continues.

PA

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