Cricketer Joe Clarke – who sent ‘foul’ Whatsapp sex texts to rapist Alex Hepburn – plays for club

A cricketer who took part in a vile game to see how many women he could have sex with opened the batting for his club today – while his former teammate who was part of the ‘laddish’ behaviour began a five year sentence for rape.

Joe Clarke was the opening batsman for his club Nottinghamshire when he faced his former team Worcestershire. 

He gave evidence at the recent trial of former team mate Alex Hepburn who was sentenced to five years in jail on Tuesday for raping a woman while she was asleep. 

Clarke had had consensual sex with the woman earlier in the evening, as part of a ‘game’ to sleep with an many women as possible. 

Fans watching the One Day Cup match at Worcester County Cricket ground appeared unfazed by his involvement in the trial.

Clarke, 22, looked deep in thought as he trudged off the field after being given out LBW after just nine runs and walked off to polite applause.

Cricketer Joe Clarke (above), who took part in a vile game to see how many women he could have sex with, played a starring role for his club today – while his former teammate who was part of the 'laddish' behaviour began a five year sentence for rape

Cricketer Joe Clarke (above), who took part in a vile game to see how many women he could have sex with, played a starring role for his club today – while his former teammate who was part of the 'laddish' behaviour began a five year sentence for rape

Cricketer Joe Clarke (above), who took part in a vile game to see how many women he could have sex with, played a starring role for his club today – while his former teammate who was part of the ‘laddish’ behaviour began a five year sentence for rape 

Clarke was the opening batsman for his club Nottinghamshire when he faced his former team Worcester. He gave evidence at the recent trial of former team mate Alex Hepburn (above) who was sentenced to five years in jail on Tuesday for raping a woman while she was asleep

Clarke was the opening batsman for his club Nottinghamshire when he faced his former team Worcester. He gave evidence at the recent trial of former team mate Alex Hepburn (above) who was sentenced to five years in jail on Tuesday for raping a woman while she was asleep

Clarke was the opening batsman for his club Nottinghamshire when he faced his former team Worcester. He gave evidence at the recent trial of former team mate Alex Hepburn (above) who was sentenced to five years in jail on Tuesday for raping a woman while she was asleep

Fans watching the One Day Cup match at Worcester County Cricket ground appeared unfazed by his involvement in the trial or refused to comment. Pictured: Clarke at court

Fans watching the One Day Cup match at Worcester County Cricket ground appeared unfazed by his involvement in the trial or refused to comment. Pictured: Clarke at court

Fans watching the One Day Cup match at Worcester County Cricket ground appeared unfazed by his involvement in the trial or refused to comment. Pictured: Clarke at court

He kept his protective helmet firmly on his head while he walked towards the dressing room and hurried up a flight of stairs without acknowledging anyone in the crowd.

Clarke, wearing the No 33 shirt, later emerged from the dressing room to sit with his teammates and watch from the stands for the remainder of the innings.

One fan said: ‘He did not do anything wrong, it was the other lad and he has been convicted. Clarke should just get on with playing cricket.’

Another fan in his 60s told Mail Online: ‘I did read about the trial but Clarke was not on trial.

‘He no longer plays for the team and I don’t know if that would have a difference to him being here.

‘I don’t think there is any sympathy for Hepburn. The courts dealt with him.’

Another added: ‘He should just get on with playing cricket. I hate it when their personal life is dragged up.’ 

During the trial at Hereford Crown Court, the jury heard how Clarke and Australian Hepburn had agreed a game to see to how many women they could sleep with.

Jurors were told a couple of days before the attack Hepburn, 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 three friends would shamelessly joke about ‘dragging the birds back’ and bragged about getting tested for sexually transmitted diseases in the summer. Clarke was described as the ‘king’ of conquests.

Clarke and the victim had met at a nightclub and after she kissed him returned to Hepburn’s flat in Worcester.

Clarke, 22, looked deep in thought as he trudged off the field after being given out for LBW after just nine runs and walked off to polite applause.

Clarke, 22, looked deep in thought as he trudged off the field after being given out for LBW after just nine runs and walked off to polite applause.

Clarke, 22, looked deep in thought as he trudged off the field after being given out for LBW after just nine runs and walked off to polite applause.

He kept his protective helmet firmly on his head while he walked towards the dressing room and hurried up a flight of stairs without acknowledging anyone in the crowd

He kept his protective helmet firmly on his head while he walked towards the dressing room and hurried up a flight of stairs without acknowledging anyone in the crowd

He kept his protective helmet firmly on his head while he walked towards the dressing room and hurried up a flight of stairs without acknowledging anyone in the crowd

Clarke, wearing the No 33 shirt, later emerged from the dressing room to sit with his teammates and watch from the stands. One fan said: 'He did not do anything wrong, it was the other lad and he has been convicted. Clarke should just get on with playing cricket'

Clarke, wearing the No 33 shirt, later emerged from the dressing room to sit with his teammates and watch from the stands. One fan said: 'He did not do anything wrong, it was the other lad and he has been convicted. Clarke should just get on with playing cricket'

Clarke, wearing the No 33 shirt, later emerged from the dressing room to sit with his teammates and watch from the stands. One fan said: ‘He did not do anything wrong, it was the other lad and he has been convicted. Clarke should just get on with playing cricket’

The victim had consensual sex with Clarke and he later left the bedroom to be sick in the bathroom.

He told the court he passed out and slept on the bathroom floor while his teammate carried out the sex attack.

The trial judge exonerated Clarke of any blame for the rape but called the sexual conquest game ‘pathetic and sexist’.

Judge Tim Tindal told Hepburn: ‘You probably thought it was laddish behaviour at the time. In truth it was foul sexism.

‘It demeaned women and trivialised rape – a word you personally threw around lightly. Only now do you realise how serious rape is.’

‘That night, Joe Clarke did nothing wrong – nor did she. You were definitely playing the sexist game that evening, making a nuisance of yourself at the bar.

‘But you went home alone, drunk and frustrated. I have no doubt at that stage you planned to go to bed on the mattress at Joe Clarke’s.

‘When you realised a sleeping woman was there, you saw a chance, climbed onto the mattress, rousing her.

‘The first thing she remembered waking, with [you orally raping her].’

During the trial, the jury heard how Clarke and Australian Hepburn (pictured with girlfriend Lucy Street) had agreed a game to see to how many women they could sleep with. Jurors were told Hepburn, Clarke and another friend set up the WhatsApp group called 'Stat Chat'

During the trial, the jury heard how Clarke and Australian Hepburn (pictured with girlfriend Lucy Street) had agreed a game to see to how many women they could sleep with. Jurors were told Hepburn, Clarke and another friend set up the WhatsApp group called 'Stat Chat'

During the trial, the jury heard how Clarke and Australian Hepburn (pictured with girlfriend Lucy Street) had agreed a game to see to how many women they could sleep with. Jurors were told Hepburn, Clarke and another friend set up the WhatsApp group called ‘Stat Chat’

Clarke and the victim had met at a nightclub. The victim had consensual sex with Clarke and he later left the bedroom to be sick in the bathroom. He told the court he passed out and slept on the bathroom floor while his teammate (above in a prison van) carried out the sex attack

Clarke and the victim had met at a nightclub. The victim had consensual sex with Clarke and he later left the bedroom to be sick in the bathroom. He told the court he passed out and slept on the bathroom floor while his teammate (above in a prison van) carried out the sex attack

Clarke and the victim had met at a nightclub. The victim had consensual sex with Clarke and he later left the bedroom to be sick in the bathroom. He told the court he passed out and slept on the bathroom floor while his teammate (above in a prison van) carried out the sex attack

In what the judge called a 'brave' victim impact statement, the woman Hepburn (pictured in his mugshot) attacked described her ordeal as 'evil' and a 'heinous crime'

In what the judge called a 'brave' victim impact statement, the woman Hepburn (pictured in his mugshot) attacked described her ordeal as 'evil' and a 'heinous crime'

In what the judge called a ‘brave’ victim impact statement, the woman Hepburn (pictured in his mugshot) attacked described her ordeal as ‘evil’ and a ‘heinous crime’

In what the judge called a ‘brave’ victim impact statement, the woman Hepburn attacked described her ordeal as ‘evil’ and a ‘heinous crime’.

Judge Tindal praised her for giving evidence through two trials, adding: ‘I hope she can now finally be able to look to her future which will be, I am sure, bright.’

Clarke, who plays as wicketkeeper with Nottinghamshire, made his debut for Worcester County Cricket Club in 2015.

He joined Nottinghamshire last year on a four-year deal after Worcester were relegated to Division Two in the Championship League.

 

 

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