Worcestershire cricketer Alex Hepburn lost his appeal against the rape conviction today. The 24-year-old was sentenced to 5 years in prison for the heinous crime last year. He was found guilty on one count of oral rape by Worcestershire Crown Court.
Hepburn and his mate Joe Clarke were involved in a bragging game where the duo would discuss the count of women they had slept with. Clarke and the women in mention had consensual sex in the evening before he was raped by Hepburn. The judge had cleared Clarke of any crime.
On the contrary, Hepburn’s barrister argued that the messages shared on Whatsapp shouldn’t be considered as evidence against his client.
“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.
He further added, “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 in stress disorder and had described the offense as ‘evil’. She revealed having social anxiety every time she steps out of her house due to the criminal offense. Judge Jim Tindal, during the hearing, termed the game as pathetic and sexist. He also called it ‘foul sexism’ adding now the guilty realizes how serious a crime rape is. Hepburn has played two List A matches and five Twenty20. He last turned out in a competitive game back in 2017 against Derbyshire.