Cricketer Alex Hepburn jailed for raping woman in teammate’s bedroom

Former Worcestershire cricketer Alex Hepburn has been jailed for five years for raping a woman in his teammate’s bedroom.

The Australian-born all-rounder, 23, found the woman “dozing” at the flat in Portland Street, Worcester, during the first night of a sexual conquest “game” he helped to set up on a WhatsApp group.

Hereford Crown Court heard how he was “fired up” by the “pathetic sexist” contest he had agreed with his ex-colleague to sleep with the most women.

Judge Jim Tindal told him he “probably thought it was laddish behaviour” at the time of the attack in April 2017, but that in reality it was “foul sexism”.

He added: “It demeaned women and trivialised rape – a word you personally threw around lightly. Only now do you realise how serious rape is.”

Hepburn sobbed in the dock when he was found guilty of oral rape at a re-trial earlier this month, with the jury having heard a victim statement from the woman he targeted.

She told jurors she had consensual sex with England Lions batsman Joe Clarke on the night, and he left his bedroom in the early hours to be sick in a bathroom, where he passed out.

She wrongly thought she was having sex with Mr Clarke – who she met at a nightclub – when Hepburn raped her.

The judge praised her for giving evidence about the “heinous crime” through two trials, adding: “I hope she can now finally be able to look to her future which will be, I am sure, bright.”

Hepburn – whose barrister, Michelle Heeley QC, said had expressed remorse – was cleared of a further count of rape relating to the same victim.

More to follow…