Former Sheffield Wednesday and Barnsley striker was ‘a sex pest’

Former Sheffield Wednesday and Barnsley loan striker Nile Ranger denies rape.
Former Sheffield Wednesday and Barnsley loan striker Nile Ranger denies rape.
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Former Sheffield Wednesday and Barnsley striker Nile Ranger was labelled a ‘sex pest’ and ‘predator’ by a girl he allegedly went on to rape in a hotel, a court heard.

Nile Ranger denies raping the girl after they had been out drinking together in Newcastle city centre while he was a player with Newcastle United.

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.

Yesterday, the first day of his trial, Newcastle Crown Court heard the pair met at a bar, where he bought them drinks, but she was unable to remember anything else until she woke up naked, next to Ranger, in a hotel room the following day.

Today, jurors were read messages Ranger, aged 22, sent the girl in the weeks prior to last January’s incident, repeatedly asking her to meet him at a flat or go out for drinks, but she refused.

In one exchange she said: “No, you’re a sex pest, told you I would be mates, nothing more.”

In another she wrote: “You’re like a crazy sex pest animal let out of its cage on a monthly cycle.”

And in another she wrote: “You’re a predator, can’t deal with that.”

Giving evidence by video link, the girl said Ranger had been messaging her for more than a year and she regularly told him she had a boyfriend.

Yesterday, CCTV footage was shown of the pair arriving in a taxi at the Carlton Hotel in Jesmond, Newcastle, and she can be seen falling out of the car.

Christine Egerton, prosecuting, told the court it was ‘crystal clear that she was not consenting’ as at the time ‘she was so incapacitated by drink or something unknown that she found it difficult to walk and has no memory whatsoever of what occurred’.

Ms Egerton 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 in the hotel room.

She 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 said 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.

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.”

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.