A former county cricketer accused of raping a woman A former county cricketer accused of raping a woman during a sexual conquest competition set up on a WhatsApp group has been found guilty.

Ex-Worcestershire CCC all-rounder Alex Hepburn denied two counts of rape relating to the alleged attack in the early hours of April 1, 2017, at his flat in Portland Street, Worcester.

He was today found guilty at Worcester Crown Court of one count of rape after attacking a sleeping woman.

Jurors cleared him of a second rape charge relating to the same victim.A former county cricketer accused of raping a woman

Prosecutors said Hepburn, 23, began to rape the woman while she was asleep after getting into her bed, where she had earlier had consensual sex with his then team-mate Joe Clarke.

The complainant, who cannot be identified, told the court she was left shocked and distressed after opening her eyes and realising she was having sex with Hepburn and not Clarke, who was asleep elsewhere in the flat.

Hepburn told a retrial at Worcester Crown Court that the woman made eye contact with him and then kissed him, instigating a consensual sexual encounter lasting around 20 minutes.

In her closing speech to the jury, prosecutor Miranda Moore QC suggested that Hepburn’s desperation to ‘score’ in the WhatsApp game may have overtaken his good sense.A former county cricketer accused of raping a woman

Ms Moore described WhatsApp messages sent by Hepburn – including one urging cricketers playing the ‘stat game’ to rate sexual partners out of 10 – as ‘dehumanising’ of women. The Crown’s barrister told the jury:

‘You have got to judge this case on the evidence. We say that the evidence is an indicator of the mindset – both hers and his.

‘On her side, the evidence shows that as soon as she realised who it was, she was upset, distressed, pushed him off, and wanted nothing more to do with him.’

Defence QC Michelle Heeley also addressed jurors, arguing that they could not possibly be sure Hepburn was guilty.

Ms Heeley, who said Hepburn was not proud of the ‘deeply unpleasant’ WhatsApp messages, said of the woman’s evidence: ‘I lost count of the number of times she said in answer to questions from me “I don’t remember”.’

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