Australia-born cricketer Alex Hepburn has been slapped a five-year sentence on Tuesday for raping a woman he found “dozing” in his teammate’s bedroom. Ex-Worcestershire player Hepburn was convicted following the incident which had happened in 2017 during the first night of a sexual conquest “game” he helped set up on a WhatsApp group.
According to reports, Hepburn committed the crime in a desperate bid to “score” in the WhatsApp game between him and his male friends in which they ranked each other on the basis of “sexual conquests”.
According to Daily Mail, WhatsApp exchanges that suggested the cricketer had sex with 60 women during a previous “game” were not put before the jurors.
Another message, in which the cricketer described himself and teammate Joe Clarke as a “pair of tens” who “should be banging models”, was also ruled inadmissible, according to Daily Mail.
Giving the verdict, Judge Jim Tindal said: “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.”
In what the judge said was a “brave” victim impact statement, the woman Hepburn attacked described her ordeal as “evil” and “heinous crime”.
A jury had found Hepburn guilty of oral rape at a retrial earlier this month but cleared him of a further count of rape relating to the same victim.
The four-day trial at Worcester Crown Court heard the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, wrongly thought she was having sex with Hepburn’s then county teammate Joe Clarke, a batsman who has played for England’s second-string Lions, after meeting him at a nightclub.