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Brighton and Hove Albion footballers humiliated alleged victim, court told ‘Dismal conduct’
Brighton and Hove Albion footballers displayed a “litany of dismal conduct”, a court has been told.
A jury at the Old Bailey heard yesterday (January 30) that not only the four footballers accused of sexually assaulting a young woman, but also other players at the club had contributed to the “humiliation compounded on humiliation” their alleged victim faced.
Closing the case for the prosecution Richard Barton said: “This is a case about the attitudes of these young men.
“You have heard about a litany of dismal conduct on behalf of these young men and their fellow footballers.”
Anton Rodgers, 20, Lewis Dunk, George Barker and Steve Cook, all 21, are all accused of sexual assault and voyeurism.
Mr Barton reminded the jury of the actions of other Albion players including the player who threatened to publish the pictures and a video on Youtube.
He told the jury that Ben Sampayo had wished he had joined in and Leon Redwood – who claimed to be a friend of the victim – had sprayed shaving foam on her unconscious body.
Forced to speak out
Mr Barton said the victim, initially reluctant to report the players to the police, had been forced to speak out because she faced the fear that she would be further humiliated by explicit pictures of her being published on the internet.
He said: “If she had wanted to sell her story, to tell everyone about her night of passion in room 431 she could have done that then and there.
“We know she complained about the footballers to her friend.
“We know also she complained to Leon Redwood.
“It is an interesting insight into the mindset of the young men at this football club that he did not ask his room mates what had gone on.
“She found herself in an impossible position – she went to the police and faced all of this or she faced the prospect of these photos going on Youtube for everyone to see.
“It was humiliation compounded on humiliation.”
In his defence, Steve Cook, 21, who now plays for Bournemouth, told the jury he had seen his team mates expose themselves but described their actions as a “juvenile prank”.
He also denied exposing himself or taking any of the pictures and told the court he had no memory of Leon Redwood entering the room and spraying shaving foam on the young woman's leg.
However, Mr Barton said that a picture showing George Barker posing with his thumbs up next to the woman’s |unconscious body must have been taken from where Cook's head would have been if he had remained lying on the floor.
The Old Bailey previously heard how the footballers – drunk on a night out celebrating the first match at the new American Express Community Stadium in July 2011– performed degrading sex acts on the unconscious teenager |at the Jury's Inn hotel in Brighton and took photographs as trophies of their actions.
The four footballers, Cook, Barker, Dunk and Rodgers, all deny sexual assault and voyeurism.
The trial continues.
All stories relating to the trial can be found here: www.theargus.co.uk/news/indepth/bhatrial
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