Alex Hepburn loses appeal against rape conviction

Alex Hepburn, the former Worcestershire allrounder, has missing his appeal against his conviction for rape.

Hepburn used to be convicted to five years in jail in April 2019 after he used to be sentenced on one count of oral rape following a retrial at Worcestershire Crown Court.

The jury heard that the victim, who used to be left with a post-traumatic stress disorder that included facial paralysis, had thought she used to be having consensual sex with Hepburn’s then county colleague Joe Clarke, in April 2017.

ALSO READ: England players provided sexual consent training in light of Hepburn conviction

All the way through the trial, the jury heard how Hepburn had “dehumanised” women, rating them in text messages to his team-mates in a “sexual conquest competition” on the social media platform WhatsApp.

Hepburn, it used to be alleged, had been “fired up” by the contest and took good thing about his victim after finding her alone on a mattress on the floor of the flat he shared with Clarke.

But at the Court of Appeal, Hepburn’s barrister, David Emanuel QC, argued that the WhatsApp messages must not have been used as evidence in the case.

“The idea propagated by the Crown, that he used to be so desperate to win the game this year that he would disregard true consent whether he had to, is just not supported by anything in the messages or by the fact of the game itself,” Emanuel said.

“I accept it would be different whether there used to be 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’re too far removed as so that you can be to do with the facts of the alleged offence.”

The panel of three senior judges, including the Lord Chief Justice, Ian Burnett, rejected the appeal.

All the way through Hepburn’s sentencing at Hereford Crown Court on April 30, 2019, Pass judgement on Jim Tindal referred to the WhatsApp group as a “pathetic sexist game” and told him: “You thought you were God’s gift to women. You saw the victim as a piece of meat, not another human entitled to respect.”

Following the case, the PCA – with the assistance of underwriting from the ECB – established a sexual consent training workshop. Each and every England player, female and male, in addition to players at all 18 first-class counties and all Kia Super League teams were obliged to attend the classes.

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