A county cricket player raped a sleeping woman after setting up a sexual conquest “game” with friends on WhatsApp, a court heard.
Worcestershire all-rounder Alex Hepburn allegedly attacked the woman after she had consensual sex with his team-mate Joe Clarke after a night out.
Worcester Crown Court heard she had woken up to find Australian-born Mr Hepburn performing a sex act on her.
The 23-year-old, of Portland Street, Worcester, denies two counts of rape.
Mr Hepburn claims the alleged victim was awake and initial kissing led to consensual sexual contact.
Opening the prosecution’s case, Miranda Moore QC said the alleged victim realised she was not with Mr Clarke, who had left the room to be sick, when she touched Mr Hepburn’s hair and he spoke in an Australian accent.
She told jurors a member of the public dialled 999 after finding the woman, who cannot be identified, “distressed and crying” in the street in April 2017.
Presenting WhatsApp messages found on Mr Hepburn’s mobile, Ms Moore alleged that a “stat chat” group he took part in was set up to record details of women members had slept with.
The rules said the “winner” would be able to gloat and enjoy a night out paid for by other members.
Ms Moore said: “He saw that girl asleep in the bed and decided to take advantage.
“That is what this case is about, this defendant’s attitude to women.”
A police interview with the complainant was also shown, where she told a police officer she had assumed she was having sex with Mr Clarke, before “panic set in” when she saw Mr Hepburn.
The trial continues.
Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino says the club should “operate in a different way” in order to win trophies.
Pochettino has guided Spurs to fifth, third, second and third in his four completed league seasons as manager.
This season Spurs are in contention for the league title and are through to the Champions League last 16, Carabao Cup semi-finals and FA Cup fourth round.
“At the moment it is fantastic, but we will see if it is enough to challenge in the next five years,” he said.
Spurs made no signings in the summer, becoming the first Premier League club to do so since the current transfer window system was adopted in 2003.
They were due to move into their new 62,062-seat stadium at the start of this season but there is still no date for the official opening.
Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy has said the construction of the stadium “won’t directly impact” on the club’s transfer policy.
“After nearly five years the club is at a different level, but how we operate in five years didn’t change,” Pochettino added on Monday.
“If we want to win titles we need to operate in a different way. At the moment we operate in the same way as five years ago when we arrived. Maybe we can win some titles but it is going to be a tough job to do because in that situation every club in the last five years was improving a lot.
“I saw a stat that in the last 10 years we were bottom of the spending list in Europe. We are doing a fantastic job but if we want to be real contenders we need to operate in a different way in the future.”
Tottenham host Chelsea in the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final on Tuesday, seeking their first trophy since winning the same competition in 2008.
“The most important thing is I accepted the challenge when Daniel Levy called me to offer me a contract,” Pochettino said. “He was clear, him and [owner] Joe Lewis, they said to me ‘In the first season at the new stadium we need a team to finish in the top four the season after.’ We are in advance. Sometimes I laugh when people say we need to win a trophy. Yes (we do), but we are in advance.
“We are in an amazing position, the club is finishing one of the best stadiums in the world, the team is so competitive.”
Pochettino believes his players need to adopt a strong mental toughness to add to their fluent passing football.
“In the last four of five years we play so well, the people enjoy a lot watching us but we need in some moments to be, I don’t know if the word is naughty, but smart in how you compete and that we still miss. But we have the opportunity in the next few months to show we are capable to be more competitive,” he said.
The Argentine feels his team have progressed considerably from the May 2016 league game against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in which they lost a 2-0 lead and drew 2-2, which handed the 2015-16 title to Leicester.
“We were nice kids playing football, now we are more mature, more competitive,” he said. “We will see if that is enough to win titles. We grow a lot in the last five years and I think this game was important to learn a lot.”
Warning: Contains graphic image below
A man has found out the hard way that it’s a bad idea to try and rob an MMA athlete.
UFC fighter Polyana Viana was waiting outside her Rio de Janeiro apartment on Saturday, when the thief approached and threatened to take her phone.
Realising the danger, the Brazilian strawweight took matters into her own hands, using her MMA skills to drop the man and keep him immobilised until the police arrived.
“He said: ‘Give me the phone. Don’t try to react, because I’m armed’,” Viana told MMA Junkie.
“Then he put his hand over [a gun], but I realised it was too soft.
“So I stood up. I threw two punches and a kick. He fell, then I caught him in a rear naked choke. Then I sat him down and said, ‘Now we’ll wait for the police.'”
Viana, 26, has a 10-2 MMA record. Her last fight ended in a decision loss to JJ Aldrich at UFC 227 last August.