independent

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Alleged victim of footballer sex assault weeps over lies to police

A WOMAN alleged to have been sexually assaulted by four footballers, including a former Irish international, broke down in court after being questioned about lies she told police.

Brighton and former Irish youth international Anton Rodgers (19) - son of Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers, Lewis Dunk (21), George Barker (21), and former team-mate Steve Cook (21) – who now plays for Bournemouth – deny charges of sexual assault and voyeurism.

The 21-year-old woman became emotional and tearful after defence counsel suggested she was mistaken.

The day after the alleged incident, her employers called police after she failed to turn up for work but the woman told them "a pack of lies", saying she had been assaulted in the street.

The offence is alleged to have taken place at the Jurys Inn hotel in Brighton after the club's victory in a cup match.

The woman, who was giving evidence behind a curtain at the Old Bailey, London, raised her voice and said: "I knew something bad had happened. Do you understand how scared I was? I didn't want to say who they were because I was scared. It's spiralled out of control."

She added: "I am sorry for wasting police time. I didn't want want to go to police, and then I had to make up these stupid stories."

The prosecution say the players sexually assaulted the woman while she was asleep in a hotel room in July 2011.

Pictures

In the morning, she said she saw pictures on a mobile phone, but she could not remember what happened.

Later, a friend who had been clubbing with her earlier in the evening, said they had each drunk between 10 and 15 shots of alcohol and shared a bottle of wine. The woman, who was then 19, left with two men after kissing one of them, she said.

Previously the court heard how the woman has admitted telling lies to police and her employers but maintains she is telling the truth and has no recollection of what went on.

Mark Cotter, defending Mr Barker, said: "I suggest to you that Mr Rodgers and Mr Barker were in the double bed in their boxer shorts and you got into bed between them. I suggest you initiated an attempt to kiss and cuddle Mr Rodgers and then did the same with Mr Barker." The woman replied: "I definitely did not."

The only picture found on the men's phones was of Barker posing by his initials in foam on the woman's thigh. Shown the picture in court, the woman said it was not the one she saw.

The trial continues today.

Irish Independent

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