Former Sheffield Wednesday and Barnsley striker on trial for rape

Former Sheffield Wednesday and Barnsley striker Nile Ranger is on trial for rape.
Former Sheffield Wednesday and Barnsley striker Nile Ranger is on trial for rape.
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Former Sheffield Wednesday and Barnsley striker Nile Ranger raped a friend in a hotel, a court heard.

The 22-year-old, who now plays for League One side Swindon Town, is alleged to have raped the girl at the Carlton Hotel, Jesmond, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, on January 23 last year, following a night out.

Christine Egerton, prosecuting, said the alleged victim could remember being together at Empress bar in Newcastle where he bought them drinks, but then could remember nothing more until she woke up naked in a hotel room the next day.

Ms Egerton said: “She has no recollection that evening of going to a different place but when she woke up she knew she had been there because she had a stamp on her hand.”

Ms Egerton told Newcastle Crown Court the girl woke up without any clothes on next to Ranger and had no idea where she was. He then told her they had had sex and she needed to take the morning-after pill.

She then got dressed and called a taxi and left.

Ms Egerton said it was ‘crystal clear she was not consenting’ as ‘she was so incapacitated by drink or something unknown that she found it difficult to walk and has no memory whatsoever of what occurred’.

The court was played an interview the alleged victim conducted with the police, where she said: “I was feeling really sick, I cannot explain how I felt, I have never felt like that before. I did not feel like I was there.”

CCTV footage was also shown of the pair arriving in a taxi at the hotel and she can be seen falling out of the car.

The jury heard Ranger, who used to play for Newcastle United, had been messaging her in the weeks before and would always come and talk to her when they met in clubs.

But she had always told him she was not interested and said she had a boyfriend.

Ms Egerton said: “As far as he was concerned he wanted something more and it went further than that because he had been pestering her for some time.

“In the days and weeks before this allegation they had been communicating by text and in these communications he had asked her to be his girl.”

The court was told on a previous occasion she had gone back to a hotel with him as he said he wanted to talk to her.

He had started kissing her neck and touching her leg, but she had not wanted that, so when he went to the bathroom she had left and got a taxi home.

After being arrested, Ranger told police they had twice had sex and she had consented ‘whole heartedly’ and ‘enthusiastically’.

At the start of the trial, Judge John Evans told the jury: “Ranger is a man who some time ago played football for Newcastle United. He is no longer at that club, he is at another club.

“At the time he played at Newcastle United inevitably in the minds of some he acquired a celebrity status among the media and many members of the public.

“Ranger is on trial and you should approach him in the same way as you would approach any other member of the public on trial for this allegation.”

Ranger, aged 22, made five appearances for Barnsley in the Championship in 2011, on loan from Newcastle United, before joining Sheffield Wednesday on loan later in the season. He scored two goals in eight appearances to help the Owls win promotion out of League One.

He joined Swindon in August after Newcastle terminated his contract in March last year.

The trial, which is expected to last three to four days, continues.