Nile Ranger denies rape
Former Premier League footballer Nile Ranger, who is accused of raping a woman in a hotel, told a jury he has "never" had sex with a woman against her will.
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The 22-year-old former Newcastle striker admitted he had "quite a few" one-night stands after he broke into the first team.
Now with Swindon, and nursing a hamstring injury which meant he sat down to give evidence at Newcastle Crown Court, Ranger denied raping the woman he had been messaging over three to four months last January, insisting they had consensual sex twice.
Toby Hedworth QC, defending, listed Ranger's previous convictions which include burglary, handling stolen goods and robbery when he was a teenager growing up in north London.
His offences continued after he signed for Newcastle and he was sentenced for drink driving in November 2011, drunk and disorderly, scuffling with two police officers on another night out, and battery when he pulled his then girlfriend's hair last year, Mr Hedworth said.
His barrister then asked: "Have you ever had sexual activity with a female against her wishes?"
Ranger replied: "Never."
The woman alleged she was raped in the Carlton Hotel, Jesmond, after agreeing to meet the footballer in a city centre bar.
She said she could not remember anything until she woke up naked in the hotel room the next morning. Ranger told her she should take the morning after pill and she left, and they continued to swap messages that day.
She then visited her GP, was checked at hospital and made a rape allegation to police.
After Ranger was arrested, his solicitor gave police a hand-written statement in which he said they got drunk, went to the hotel and had sex twice in "various positions", the jury heard.
In a second police interview the player revealed he paid £30 for the room, which was half-price because he was friends with the manager.
He told detectives he helped the woman get up in the road outside the hotel after she dropped her handbag, rubbed her back and comforted her.
In the interview he said: "I'm a gentleman yer kna (you know), I'm rubbing her back, making sure she's all right, holding her."