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Alex Hepburn trial jury fails to reach verdicts Alex Hepburn trial jury fails to reach verdicts
(35 minutes later)
The jury in the trial of the former Worcestershire cricketer Alex Hepburn has been discharged after failing to reach verdicts. The jury in the trial of the cricketer Alex Hepburn has been discharged after failing to reach verdicts on two counts of rape.
The panel deliberated for more than nine hours before being discharged by Judge Jim Tindal following a five-day trial at Worcester crown court. Jurors deliberated for more than nine hours before being released by the judge, Jim Tindal, on Friday after a five-day trial at Worcester crown court.
The Australian-born Hepburn, 23, of Worcester, denies two counts of rape alleged to have been committed against a woman, who cannot be identified, in April 2017. Hepburn, 23, of Worcester, denied raping a woman in April 2017. The Crown Prosecution Service has been granted a two-week period to decide whether to seek a retrial. Hepburn was bailed and a provisional retrial date was listed for 8 April.
After the jury was discharged, prosecutors were granted a two-week period to decide whether to seek a retrial on the charges. The Australian cricketer, who was playing for Worcestershire at the time, was accused of raping the woman as she slept.
Hepburn was bailed and a provisional retrial date was listed for 8 April. He was alleged to have attacked the woman in a dark bedroom shortly after she had consensual sex with his friend and then teammate, the England Lions batsman Joe Clarke.
Giving evidence, Hepburn, who denied rape, claimed the woman’s eyes were open at the time of the incident. He told the court that 20 minutes later, she got up and told him: “You just raped me, you sick bastard.”
It emerged during the trial that Hepburn and Clarke allegedly took part in a WhatsApp “stat chat” group. It involved keeping details of sexual conquests, with the promise of bragging rights and a free night out for the winner of the challenge.
The court was told references were made in the WhatsApp group to “freshies” and “reheats”, alleged to relate to women its members had or had not slept with previously.
Hepburn said since the allegations emerged, his contract with Worcestershire had run out and he had been playing amateur cricket.
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