Jury asked for majority verdict in Steve Cook trial

Verdict expected in Steve Cook trial

Verdict expected in Steve Cook trial

First published in News
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The jury trying Cherries player Steve Cook and three other footballers on charges of sexual assault and voyeurism will continue their deliberations into a fifth day today.

This morning the judge told them a 10-2 or 11-2 majority verdict would be accepted if they cannot reach unanimous agreement.

Anton Rodgers, 19, George Barker, 21, and Lewis Dunk, 21, from Brighton, and AFC Bournemouth player Steve Cook, 21, from St Leonards, deny sex assault and voyeurism.

The incident happened when all four were players for Brighton and Hove Albion.

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A summary of the trial so far:

Day 2 - Tuesday January 22:

    Opening the case for the prosecution Richard Barton said the four professional footballers had "deliberately humiliated the 19 year old woman for their own sexual gratification."
    He described Anton Rodgers, George Barker, Lewis Dunk and Steve Cook as "arrogant young men labouring under the misguided belief that by reason of their privileged position they could with impunity take advantage of a young woman in this way"
    The victim gave evidence saying“I felt ashamed and embarrassed
    “I couldn't believe it had happened."
    She said she had no recollection of the night - other than a flashback of George Barker and Lewis Dunk grabbing her ankles - and of Lewis Dunk feeding her a chicken burger in Middle Street.

Day 3 - Wednesday:

 The victim faced cross examination by each of the defendants' legal teams.

   Defence counsel for George Barker accused the victim of being "swept up in a roller coaster of lies"

    Defence for Anton Rodgers accepted he was pictured exposing himself to the victim in one photograph, but called their actions "just larking about".
    Defence for Lewis Dunk accused her of "having a keen interest in footballers" and pursuing Leon Redwood, Roland Bergkamp and another Brighton and Hove Albion player around that time.

Day 4 - Thursday:

    The victim broke down in an emotional outburst in  the witness box saying "they taunted me" and "shouted my name in the street"
    A friend she was out with on the evening before the alleged assault said they drank ten to 15 shots each and shared a bottle of rose wine.
    The victim's best friend said she had confided in her but had feared what people would think of her.
    The general manager of the Jury's Inn said their CCTV footage was "irrevocably removed"


Day 5- Friday:

    Albion player Ben Sampayo reluctantly gave evidence for the prosecution.
    He said his team mates woke him up "giggling" to show him a photo of themselves exposed with the young woman.


Day 6 - Monday:

    George Barker's defence case began
    Barker  said he exposed himself to copy Anton Rodgers and  "make the boys laugh"

Day 7 - Tuesday:

    Anton Rodgers's defence case was heard.
    He said he exposed himself and took pictures, but it was just "boy banter".
    Lewis Dunk's defence case began
    Dunk said he had been on the phone for 35 minutes during the time the pictures were taken.
    He said his team-mates' behaviour was "stupid"
    He said he had not participated in or seen or heard any pictures taken


Day 8 - Wednesday:

    Leon Redwood confirmed he sprayed shaving foam on the victim's leg. Describing her as 'asleep but not asleep'.
    He described the incident as 'harmless fun'.
    Mr Redwood confirmed the victim asked him to delete photographs of the incident.
    Counsel Richard Barton summed up the prosecution's case.
    He told the jury: 'This was a young woman who was asleep and not able to consent to what happened to her . . .
    Defendant Steve Cook told the court he saw Anton Rogers expose himself but could not remember who the other individual was.
    He described the incident as a 'juvenile prank'
 

Day 9 – Thursday

    Each defendant's counsel gave their closing speech.
    They all challenged the credibility of the alleged victim's evidence.
    Peter Lodder QC, defending Rodgers, told the jury: 'This is a court of law, it is not a court of morals.'


Day 10 – Friday

    Jurors were told they should not feel under pressure to make a decision.
    Summing up Judge Charles Wide said the moment the woman found photographs on Anton Rogers' phone was 'very important' to the Crown's case.
    Judge Wide highlighted evidence given by Ben Sampayo who described seeing a photograph of more than one person exposing themselves and said body parts were in the victim's hand.
    He said all the defendants had added credibility because they had no previous convictions.
    The jury went retired at 1pm.

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