Australian cricketer Alex Hepburn who was jailed for raping a sleeping woman has suffered yet another big setback as he has lost his appeal to have his conviction overturned. In April last year, the former Worcestershire allrounder was found guilty of raping a sleeping woman following a retrial at Worcester Crown Court.
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The 24-year old was subsequently jailed for five years. The attack on the woman was part of a sexual conquest ‘game’. The disturbing details of it came to the fore through his WhatsApp messages that the police discovered. The startling messages suggested he’d had sex with 60 women during a previous ‘stat game’.
During the trial, the prosecution had claimed Alex Hepburn was “fired up” by the contest to sleep with the most women, before carrying out the rape at his flat in Portland Street, Worcester, on April 1, 2017.
Earlier this month, the Aussie challenged his conviction at the Court of Appeal. But, in a judgment handed down on Tuesday, three senior judges, including the Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett, dismissed his appeal, saying: “The conviction is not unsafe.”
London’s Appeal Court heard earlier this month that messages about a sex game should not have been revealed at the rape trial. Appeal Court judges were told the posts presented to the jury did not show he was willing to have sex without consent.
Many of the messages related to a game between Alex Hepburn and a number of others to gain sexual encounters, the court heard. The cricketer’s lawyer David Emanuel said that was “just not supported by anything in the messages”.
“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,” Mr Emanuel told the judges.
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