Aussie cricketer sobs over rape verdict
The sick messages written by Australian cricketer Alex Hepburn have been revealed - as he was today found guilty of raping a sleeping woman in a sexual "conquest game".
The former Worcestershire county allrounder was found guilty of one count of oral rape after a retrial.
Hepburn sighed and then slumped into his seat, covered his face with his hands and sobbed after the verdict was returned.
Hepburn, 23, will be sentenced at Hereford Crown Court on April 30, The Sun reports.
Jurors deliberated for 10 hours and 53 minutes before delivering a unanimous verdict of guilty on one count of oral rape.
An earlier jury was dismissed after a trial in January when they couldn't reach a verdict.
The attack was part of a sexual conquest "game".
The extent of Hepburn's depravity were revealed in the WhatsApp sex game messages cops found on his phone which were not aired at either of his trials.
WhatsApp messages suggested he'd had sex with 60 women during a previous "stat game".
Another message in which the 23-year-old Australian all-rounder described himself and ex-England lions batsman Joe Clarke as a "pair of tens" who "should be banging models" was also ruled inadmissable during a pre-trial hearing.
In the message, written to Clarke near the start of the 2017 cricket season, Hepburn added: "Shame there are no f***ing models in Worcester. If there is we have banged them."
In another message not heard by the jury using what is thought to be a nickname, Hepburn bragged: "Got to understand that Hepperdawg is a horny c*** and without you keeping my head straight just goes and does rogue things."
Social media conversations which prosecutors claimed may have been "scores" from a previous sexual conquest competition were also kept from the jury panel.
A message written by Hepburn said: "Oi last night was my 60th. Want 80 by the end of Worcs."
The messages - recovered by police from mobile phone records - also included a reference to a "Tinder bird" which dismissed her as "not great" but added "a stat's a stat hahaha."
Other messages sent by Hepburn read "it feels like there is a population of 150 birds in Worcester and we have pumped every single one of them" and "get them blind and then back to ours".
But jurors did hear details of messages sent by Hepburn in the week of the night out which landed him in court - in which he apparently referred to threesomes involving Mr Clarke.
Mr Clarke has never been charged with any wrongdoing.
Worcester Crown Court heard that a couple of days before the attack, Hepburn, Mr Clarke and another friend known only as Tom, set up the WhatsApp group called 'Stat Chat'.
Members would reveal details of all their sexual encounters with girls known as "freshies or re heats" and rate them based on their performances in bed.
In the group the pals would shamelessly joke about "dragging the birds back" and "raping them" and bragged about getting tested for STIs in the summer.
Jurors heard Hepburn, who thought he was "God's gift to Worcester", attacked his victim as he wanted to beat best friend Mr Clarke who had won the "competition" last year.
The victim had fallen asleep after having sex with Mr Clarke, who now plays for Nottinghamshire, at the apartment in Albion Mill, Worcester.
She woke to find Hepburn straddling her while she was still "in a daze" and pushed him away before running from the flat where she was found in a state of distress by a passer-by.
She told police she had thought it had been Clarke "being cheeky" and "went along with it" before realising it was Hepburn.
Australian-born Hepburn, who came to the UK aged 17 to join Worcestershire CCC, told the jury the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had her eyes open and was "engaging" in the acts.
During his evidence on Wednesday this week, Hepburn admitted he sent "disgusting, horrible and embarrassing" WhatsApp messages while setting the rules of the sexual conquest competition.
The court heard Hepburn had consumed around 15 units of alcohol with his friends in nightclubs Sin and Bushwhackers in the city centre on the night of March 31, 2017.
Bailing Hepburn following the verdicts, Judge Jim Tindal told the cricketer, who was aged 21 at the time of the rape: "You have been convicted and now fall to be sentenced.
"I am adjourning your case for the preparation of a pre-sentence report. But it would not be a kindness to you to leave you under any false impression as to the purpose of that report.
"There is only one sentence that can properly be handed down in this case, and a custodial sentence is inevitable."
- This story originally appeared on thesun.co.uk