Nile Ranger trial: 'I know I'm not a rapist', footballer tells court

Nile Ranger told a jury he would never take a woman against her will as he gave evidence at his rape trial at Newcastle Crown Court

Nile Ranger
Nile Ranger

Former Newcastle United footballer Nile Ranger told jurors: “I know I’m not a rapist”.

The former Magpies striker said he was shocked when police turned up at his home accusing him of being a sex offender.

Ranger claimed his alleged victim willingly participated in sex and said he would never take a woman against her will.

The footballer, who also claimed to have suffered racist abuse while playing for United, denies raping the woman at a hotel in Jesmond, Newcastle.

Ranger said on the night of the alleged rape she was “up for coming back to the hotel”.

He added: “We were both intoxicated but she knew exactly what she was doing.”

Asked how he felt when police arrested him for rape, Ranger said: “I was very shocked. I know I’m not a rapist.”

His barrister, Toby Hedworth QC, asked: “Have you ever had sexual activity with a female against her wishes?”

Ranger replied: “Never”.

Asked what effect the allegations had on his career at Newcastle, Ranger replied: “To be honest with Newcastle I was getting in a bit of bother with lateness and stuff.

“It was like a ticking timebomb to be honest.

“With the rape allegation it affected me big style. I was supposed to go on loan to Hull, they were third in the Championship.

“I was literally packing bags to go there on loan as I was getting no love or first-team action with Newcastle.

“After I got arrested it was all over the media. They stopped the move. With football and a lot of things, it put a pause on a lot of things,

“That’s one of the main reasons the contract was terminated at Newcastle in the end.”

Ranger, who asked to sit down in court due to a hamstring injury sustained while playing for his current club, Swindon, said he started being noticed in Newcastle after signing a five-year contract as a teenager.

He said: “I made friends easily, I started getting noticed, a lot if people came up to me in clubs.”

He confirmed he “liked the attention of young ladies” and was asked if he’d had a lot of one-night stands

He replied: “I’ve had quite a few, yeah.”

Ranger also said he had suffered racism while out in Newcastle, particularly if he had played poorly.

His barrister asked him: “Are there down sides to being a footballer?”

He replied: “Yes. I got quite a bit of racist chants. Out in town there was quite a bit of racist fans.

“If I had a bad game some of them would abuse me. You have to deal with it in a professional way.”

He said he was friends with the manager of the Carlton Hotel, in Jesmond, Newcastle, who would let him rent rooms for half price, £30 a night.

The complainant alleges she was raped in the hotel after agreeing to meet the footballer in a city centre bar. She said she could not remember anything after being out drinking until she woke up naked in the hotel room the next morning.

Ranger, 22, denies rape and will continue to give evidence today. The trial continues.

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