Australia

Cricket star, 21, denies raping a woman twice in court

  • Alex Hepburn, 22, charged with two counts of raping a woman in April last year
  • He entered not guilty pleas at a short hearing at Worcester Crown Court today
  • Wore black suit, grey tie and white shirt and was released on unconditional bail

By Rory Tingle For Mailonline

Published: 07:35 EST, 17 January 2018 | Updated: 10:11 EST, 17 January 2018

Alex Hepburn, 22, who plays for Worcestershire, is alleged to have had sex with the woman without her consent on April 1, and is seen entering Worcester Crown Court today

Alex Hepburn, 22, who plays for Worcestershire, is alleged to have had sex with the woman without her consent on April 1, and is seen entering Worcester Crown Court today

A professional cricketer has appeared in court to deny accusations he raped a woman.

Worcestershire CCC all-rounder Alex Hepburn, 21, entered not guilty pleas to two counts of sexual assault in a hearing at Worcester Crown Court, on Wednesday.

The alleged offences are said to have taken place in Worcester in April, last year. He was charged in November.

The all-rounder, of Malvern, appeared at Worcester Crown Court for a short 20-minute hearing.

Wearing a black suit, grey tie and white shirt, he spoke only to enter his not guilty pleas.

His trial, which is expected to last seven days, was set for January 7 next year by Judge Nicholas Cartwright.

He was released on unconditional bail.

Setting a trial date for early in 2019, Judge Nicolas Cartwright said the trial would be heard in the city, unless it could be moved to Hereford, which, the court heard, has no county cricket side of its own.

He said: 'Alex Hepburn, you've heard the deadline I have said and the trial date is fixed for January 7 2019, here at Worcester, unless you're told in the meantime by any of the solicitors it's going to be moved to Hereford.

'If it is at Worcester, I'll observe a large jury panel is required to make sure the jurors trying the case aren't familiar with your professional persona.

'If you fail to turn up for trial whenever it is listed you may be tried in your absence. I am remanding you on bail on the same terms as before.'

Hepburn came to the UK to gain professional cricket experience with county side Worcestershire CCC.

The all-rounder, of Malvern, appeared at Worcester Crown Court for a short 20-minute hearingThe all-rounder, of Malvern, appeared at Worcester Crown Court for a short 20-minute hearingHe is pictured in his cricket whites in an undated imageHe is pictured in his cricket whites in an undated image

The all-rounder, of Malvern, appeared at Worcester Crown Court for a short 20-minute hearing(left). He is pictured right in his cricket whites in an undated image

He managed to break into the side for the final five T20 Blast competition matches, securing the county's best T20 bowling performance with 5-24 against Nottinghamshire.

Last season he made seven appearances for the side in limited overs games but is yet to play first class cricket for the team.

He was suspended on full pay by the club in November following the charges, having just signed a new contract in October.

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