Brighton football star arrested: Updated police statement, what the club said, why we can't name player?

The Brighton and Hove Albion player arrested on suspicion of sexual assault at a seafront night club has been released on conditional bail.

Thursday, 7th October 2021, 12:59 pm
Brighton and Hove Albion FC

The player in his 20s, who cannot be named for legal reasons, and another man in his 40s were arrested in the early hours of Wednesday after a woman reported being sexually assaulted.

Police will continue with their enquiries into the matter which was alleged to have taken place at a seafront nightclub in Brighton.

The pair, from Brighton, have been released on conditional bail by Sussex Police until November 3.

What Sussex Police said:

"Two men have been arrested after a woman reported being sexually assaulted at a venue in Brighton, in the early hours of Wednesday (October 6).

"A man in his 40s and a man in his 20s, both from Brighton, were arrested on suspicion of sexual assault and have been released on conditional bail until November 3 while enquiries continue.

The victim is receiving specialist support from officers."

What Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club said:

"Brighton & Hove Albion are aware that one of its players is assisting police with the investigation of an alleged offence.

"The matter is subject to a legal process and the club is therefore unable to make further comment at this time.”

Why has the player not 'officially' been named?

Sussex Police have not yet released the name of the Brighton player or the 40-year-old man as they are suspects and have not yet been charged with an offence.

Media organisations must be careful of publishing identity at this stage because if the police investigation does not lead to a prosecution, the suspect may be able to sue for libel.

Despite the risks, some media organisations choose to publish identity before a charge, often when a public figure (such as a high-profile footballer) is a suspect and there's competition to break the story.

Should there be an official release of the identity by a police spokesperson, the media can publish safe in the knowledge that in a libel case, they could most likely rely on the defence of qualified privilege.