SENTENCED TO PRISON
The judge confirmed that neither the victim nor Joe Clarke had done anything wrong. © Getty
Former Worcestershire player Alex Hepburn has been sentenced to five years in jail for raping a woman in April 2017. The 23-year-old was sacked by his county club last year.
When sentencing Hepburn, Judge Jim Tindal said: “It emerged in the trial you and Joe Clarke had agreed a pathetic, sexist game to collect as many sexual encounters as possible. You probably thought it was laddish behaviour at the time. In truth it was foul sexism. It demeaned women and trivialised rape – a word you personally threw around lightly. Only now do you realise how serious rape is.
“You thought you were God’s gift to women. You did see her at that moment as a piece of meat, not a woman entitled to respect. You scarred both your lives forever.”
Hepburn and Clarke were both involved in a sexual conquest game which involved seeing how many women they could sleep with, bragging about it on Whatsapp. Clarke and the woman had had consensual sex earlier in the evening before she was raped by Hepburn with the Judge confirming neither the woman, nor Clarke, had done anything wrong.
“I mourn who I used to be,” the woman’s victim impact statement read. “I can’t remember the last time I went anywhere without creating mental escape plans, just in case.” She described the ordeal as “evil” and a “heinous crime” which has left her suffering post-traumatic stress disorder.
Following the sentencing, DCI Ian Wall of West Mercia police said: “We welcome the sentence today and I hope it will offer some comfort to the victim, who has shown great courage and strength in coming forward in reporting this to us, throughout the investigation and in giving evidence in court.”