22nd Sep, 2020

Hepburn loses appeal against rape conviction

Rob George 30th Jun, 2020

FORMER Worcestershire all-rounder Alex Hepburn who was jailed for five years for raping a sleeping woman has lost his appeal to have his conviction overturned.

Hepburn, 24, was found guilty following a retrial in April 2019 of oral rape but cleared of a further count of rape following an incident at his flat in Worcester city centre in 2017.

Lawyers acting for the Perth-born cricketer launched an appeal against the conviction earlier this month and claimed lewd WhatsApp messages involving Hepburn which detailed a sexual conquest game should not have been used as evidence at his trial.

But in their judgement handed down today (Tuesday) three senior judges, including Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett dismissed the appeal and ruled the conviction was not unsafe.

Speaking after the verdict last year, Pears chairman Fanos Hira revealed club chiefs were left ‘appalled’ at the details revealed during the case at Worcester Crown Court.

Mr Hira said the club’s board and former chief executive were first made aware of Hepburn’s arrest the following day and took ‘immediate and decisive action’.

Worcestershire CCC informed the ECB who imposed suspensions which prevented Hepburn from cricket at any level.

His Worcestershire contract expired in September 2018 and was not renewed.

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