independent

Monday 21 April 2014

Woman denies getting into bed with two footballers in sex assault trial

A WOMAN today denied getting into a hotel bed voluntarily with two footballers.

The 21-year-old also refuted a defence suggestion that she tried to kiss and cuddle George Barker and Anton Rodgers who were dressed in their boxer shorts.

Anton Rodgers has represented Ireland at under 17 and under 19 levels, although he has not been picked for any other squads. His father is current Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers.

The woman has accused four members of Brighton and Hove Albion football club of assaulting her while she was passed out in a hotel room in Brighton.

The prosecution at the Old Bailey alleges the players took mobile phone photographs showing lewd scenes.

The woman has admitted telling lies to police and her employers but maintains she is telling the truth about having no recollection of what went on in the room.

Mark Cotter, defending 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."

Mr Cotter suggested she was "a prolific liar" who had lied about photographs she had seen on a mobile phone.

Asked if she had "seriously exaggerated" the contents of pictures, she answered: "It was humiliating and they should not have done it. They have to live with it."

Brighton players Anton Rodgers, 19, Lewis Dunk, 21, and George Barker, 21, and former team-mate Steve Cook, 21, who now plays for Bournemouth, deny sexual assault and voyeurism.

The offence is alleged to have taken place in July 2011 at the Jurys Inn hotel in Brighton after the club's victory in a cup match.

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 picture she saw. That one had shown her underwear pulled up.

The woman, who was 19 at the time, said she had been drinking in clubs but denied she had 15 shots of alcohol before passing out.

After missing work the next day, she told her bosses she had been attacked in the street because she feared being sacked.

She said after they insisted on calling the police, she told more lies but dropped "hints" she picked up from watching CSI on television.

She changed her story six months later after an "awful" row with another player at the club who she had been sleeping with.

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