London: Former Worcestershire county cricketer Alex Hepburn has been jailed for five years for raping a sleeping woman in his apartment in 2017, British media reported Tuesday.
Australian-born Hepburn, 23, was found guilty of one charge of oral rape and cleared of another rape charge during a re-trial last month by the Hereford Crown Court.
He had denied both charges.
Judge Jim Tindal told Hepburn that he had ‘demeaned women’ and he viewed his victim as a ‘piece of meat, not a woman entitled to respect’, the BBC reported.
Hepburn was given a one-year extension at Worcestershire Oct. 12, 2017 but was suspended by the club after being charged the following month.
The Professional Cricketers’ Association (PCA) had released a statement after the verdict highlighting the importance of players taking part in the PCA’s personal development programmes.
“This public case provides a stark reminder to all PCA members of all requirements and behaviours demanded of a professional cricketer, provided through its Personal Development and welfare Programme, which is facilitated closely alongside the ECB and first-class counties,” read the statement.
“Throughout the criminal investigations, we have provided suitable advice and assistance to Alex. As the game’s player association, offering support and guidance to players in times of turbulence is a fundamental responsibility for the PCA,” it concluded.