Woman denies accusing Blackpool FC and former Crawley Town footballer of rape 'to cover her regret at sleeping with a man', court hears

A woman denied accusing a professional footballer of rape to cover her regret at sleeping with a man, a court heard.

The woman tried to retract her allegation twice before going to trial, a jury at Brighton heard.

Read More

Read More
Championship striker and former Crawley Town player Bez Lubala accused of raping...

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

She claimed Blackpool FC striker Beryly Lubala attacked her after going to his house in Horsham to watch Netflix.

Beryly Lubala outside of Brighton Crown Court

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, met the footballer when he was playing for Crawley Town.

During cross-examination by Julia Smart QC, the clearly distressed woman, cried as she repeatedly denied inventing the rape.

Ms Smart suggested she mulled over what had happened with Mr Lubala, then aged 21, and regretted having sex with him.

"No, I'm not a liar," she woman said. "I wouldn't have put myself through two-and-a-half years of trauma if I had just regretted something."

"Is it you got carried away and regretted you had slept with a man?" Ms Smart asked.

"I regretted going because I now have to deal with this for the rest of my life, but I didn't consent," the woman said. "My sexuality has nothing to do with this."

Asked about a Snapchat selfie she took in the player's bedroom, the woman insisted she took it before the incident.

Graphic details of the alleged rape were put to the woman who said she is now in a stable same sex relationship.

The woman said she was crying throughout and told the player to stop.

Detailed examination of the woman continued despite Richard Hearnden for the prosecution objecting to the style of questioning.

Ms Smart told the woman: "I'm going to suggest everything that happened in that bedroom was entirely with your consent and, in fact, at your instigation and you changed your mind."

"No, I never instigated anything. I come from a respectful family," the woman said.

Her Honour Judge Shani Barnes ended the cross examination by saying: "Enough."

The woman confirmed she tried to withdraw her evidence and back out of the prosecution a year before trial. Asked by Mr Hearnden why she tried to back out of the trial, the woman said: "I have a different life now. I have a girlfriend and a career and I thought this would put me ten steps back and it has."

The woman was quizzed about her previous meetings with the player.

She admitted going up to his room at a hotel within half an hour of meeting Mr Lubala for the first time. They had sex and she stayed overnight, the court heard.

The court heard she met and had sex with him a second time before beginning a relationship with a woman.

Jurors at Lewes Crown Court in Brighton heard text message exchanges between them where the woman accused the player of only ever contacting her for a Bootycall.

She denied a defence suggestion she wanted a relationship with the player. The woman said she was naive and trusting.

"He said he didn't want sex and I believed him," she said. Beryly Lubala denies raping the young woman at his home in Horsham in 2019.

The covid delayed trial at Lewes Crown Court in Brighton continues.