A JURY has retired to consider its verdicts in the retrial of a former county cricketer accused of raping a woman in his teammate's bed.

Ex-Worcestershire CCC all-rounder Alex Hepburn denies two counts of rape alleged to have taken place in the early hours of April 1, 2017, at his flat in Portland Street, Worcester. Prosecutors allege Hepburn, aged 23, began to rape the woman while she was asleep after getting into her bed. She had earlier had consensual sex on the same mattress with his Hepburn's teammate Joe Clarke.

The complainant, who cannot be identified, told the court she was left shocked and distressed after opening her eyes and realising she was

having sex with Hepburn and not Clarke, who was asleep elsewhere in the flat having gone to a bathroom to be sick.

Hepburn told a retrial at Worcester Crown Court that the woman made eye contact with him and then kissed him, instigating a consensual sexual encounter lasting around 20 minutes. In her closing speech, prosecutor Miranda Moore QC suggested that Hepburn's desperation to "score" in the WhatsApp game may have overtaken his good sense.

Ms Moore described messages sent by Hepburn - including one urging cricketers playing the "stat game" to rate sexual partners out of 10 - as "dehumanising" of women.

The Crown's barrister told the jury: "On her side, the evidence shows that as soon as she realised who it was, she was upset, distressed, pushed him off, and wanted nothing more to do with him."

Defence QC Michelle Heeley also addressed jurors, arguing that they

could not possibly be sure Hepburn was guilty. Ms Heeley, who said Hepburn was not proud of the "deeply unpleasant" messages, said of the woman's evidence: "I lost count of the number of times she said in answer to questions from me 'I don't remember'."

The retrial has heard the complainant initially told police she was

unsure whether or not she had had sex with Clarke before the alleged

rape by his best friend Hepburn.

Jurors deliberated for around three-and-a-half hours on Thursday and

will resume their discussions on Friday.

The trial continues.