Bramble denies raping teenage girl

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The brother of Premier League footballer Titus Bramble told police investigating claims he raped a 19-year-old woman: "They don't just come back to the hotel to go to sleep, they come back for sex," a jury was told today.

Tesfaye Bramble, 30 - brother of Sunderland star Titus - went on trial at Leeds Crown Court today accused of raping the woman in the Vermont Hotel, Newcastle, on September 22 last year.

The woman said she met the Bramble brothers and two of their friends in the VIP section of Madame Koo's bar in the city.

After one of the men - Simon Pharoah - helped her take her drunk friend home to the Jesmond area of Newcastle, she gave him a lift back to the hotel where they were all staying and began talking to the men in a room.

In a recorded police interview played to the court, the woman described how one of the men boasted to her about his expensive watch, car and race horses.

She said she eventually went to sleep in a single bed in one of the rooms the group was using.

The woman said the white man who helped her with her friend - identified as Mr Pharoah - was in the bed next to her in the locked room.

But she said he climbed into her bed before she fell asleep.

When she woke, she told the jury: "A big black figure was on top of me." The woman told the officers: "I was in shock. This isn't right."

She then described how she put her knickers in her bag, grabbed her hair extensions and ran out of the hotel in panic.

"As I was driving, I was being sick," she said. "I was retching. I was in shock. I cried like I've never cried in my life."

The woman told the interviewing officers how she did not really know why she went into the hotel after she gave Mr Pharoah a lift back there.

She said he had been kind to her and was "such a nice guy".

Once upstairs, she said one of the black men told her he was a footballer and she talked to him about Wayne Rooney, Cheryl Cole and Abi Crouch.

She said she asked the man about his watch, saying: "Is that an Omega?". But he told her it was a Rolex.

"He was laughing saying 'you would not be able to afford the watch'," she said. "He was bragging about it."

She added: "He said he'd got racehorses."

Ex-professional footballer Bramble, of Ipswich, denies one count of rape.

Opening the case, Penelope Moreland, prosecuting, said the complainant "woke up to find this defendant on top of her, having sex with her".

She said Bramble told police the woman, who cannot be named for legal reason, consented to sex with him.

Miss Moreland told the court that the defendant told officers: "They don't just come back to hotel to go to sleep, they come back for sex."

She told the court that Mr Pharoah had described some sexual activity with the woman when he was in bed with her.

But she said the woman had no recollection of this and took no issue with it.

Miss Moreland said the woman thought Mr Pharoah was a kind man.

She explained that Mr Pharoah had moved out of the room when the defendant rang him, telling him he wanted use it.

Before the jury of seven woman and five men was sworn in, they were asked whether they supported either Newcastle United or Sunderland football clubs. None said they did.

Later in the woman's police interview, she told the officer of her shock when she woke up.

She told them she thought: "That's not the guy who was in my bed. That's not the white guy."

Asked how she felt, she said: "Disgusted in ways I can't describe."

She said she could not believe what happened, especially as she had been discussing the antics of footballers with the men earlier and saying how she disapproved.

The woman said they talked about "things like this, about prostitutes about the poor wives of footballers".

The officers said they had been told by Mr Pharoah about the sexual contact he said happened between him and her before he left the room.

She said she did not recall it but did not believe he had done anything wrong.

The woman told the police she went to sleep wearing jogging bottoms and her underwear but, when she woke up, these were on the floor. She said she did not know how this had happened.

After the DVDs of her police interviews were played to the court, the woman gave evidence in the courtroom from behind a screen.

Hilary Manley, defending, put it to the woman that she had drunk a triple vodka and coke, a double vodka and coke, a Jagerbomb cocktail, a Sambuca and a glass and a half of rose wine before she left Madame Koo's.

The complainant said she did not recall drinking the Sambuca and did not think it was that much wine.

She said she thought she was fit to drive and said she was surprised when told a urine test determined she was twice the drink-drive limit.

The woman told the jury she had just started as a student when the incident happened.

The case was adjourned until tomorrow at 11am.