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Australia-born Cricketer Alex Hepburn's Appeal for Rape Conviction Overturned

Australian-born ex-Worcestershire player Alex Hepburn, who was convicted for sexually assaulting a sleeping woman, has lost his appeal to overturn the conviction.

Cricketnext Staff |July 1, 2020, 9:33 AM IST
Australia-born Cricketer Alex Hepburn's Appeal for Rape Conviction Overturned

Australian-born ex-Worcestershire player Alex Hepburn, who was convicted for sexually assaulting a sleeping woman, has lost his appeal to overturn the conviction.

Hepburn, 24, was jailed for five years in April last year for the attack that took place at a flat in Worcester. He had challenged the conviction earlier this month.

However, in a judgment handed down on Tuesday, three senior judges, including the Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett, dismissed the appeal by stating that "the conviction is not unsafe."

London’s Appeal Court heard earlier this month that messages relating to a 'sex game' wherein Hepburn and another player made a bet over who would sleep with the most women should not have been revealed at the trial.

His lawyer David Emanuel said that nowhere in the messages was there any talk of sex against one's will.

"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," he told the judges.

"They are too far removed as to be able to be to do with the facts of the alleged offence."

During the original trial, prosecutors said the former Worcestershire all-rounder had been "fired up" by the contest to sleep with the most women, before carrying out the rape at his flat in Worcester, central England, in April 2017.

Judge Jim Tindal, while jailing Hepburn at Hereford Crown Court, said the "immature" cricketer and a former teammate had agreed a "pathetic sexist game to collect as many sexual encounters as possible".

He added: "You probably thought it was laddish behaviour at the time. In truth it was foul sexism.

"It demeaned women and trivialised rape -- a word you personally threw around lightly. Only now do you realise how serious rape is." Hepburn's lawyer, Michelle Heeley, said her client had expressed remorse.

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