News Courts

Monday 29 May 2017

Jury out in case of Irish footballer accused of sexually assaulting woman

JURORS have retired to consider a verdict in the trial of an Irish international and three other footballers accused of sexually assaulting a woman.

Anton Rodgers, 19, a son of Liverpool manager Brendan and who played for Ireland at youth level, is on trial at the Old Bailey along with fellow Brighton players Lewis Dunk, 21, and George Barker, 21, and former team-mate Steve Cook, 21, who now plays for Bournemouth.

It is claimed that the four sportsmen took the young woman back to their hotel room and assaulted her after celebrating victory in the Sussex Senior Cup.

Prosecutor Richard Barton said they had waited until she had fallen asleep and then sexually assaulted her in "a deliberately humiliating way".

"They compounded the humiliation by taking photographs of themselves doing so in order to have a permanent record of their conquest," he added.

The alleged victim told jurors that she woke up half-naked in a hotel bed next to a footballer after a night out clubbing in Brighton.

She said she could not remember getting there and was horrified to find mobile phone pictures of four footballers assaulting her.

Rodgers was asleep in the bed wearing only his boxers and, when she woke him, he seemed unconcerned, the court heard.

The woman, who was 19 at the time of the alleged assault in July 2011, said she discovered the pictures after asking to use Rodgers' phone.

Rodgers and Barker, both of Highview Avenue North, Brighton, Dunk, of Woodbourne Avenue, Brighton, and Cook, of Perth Road, St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex, deny sexual assault and voyeurism.

The offences were said to have happened at the Jury's Inn Hotel in Brighton in July 2011.

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