Sunderland defender Titus Bramble 'assaulted girl in taxi'
Tuesday 29 May 2012
A woman who claims she was sexually assaulted by Premier League star Titus Bramble has told a court she repeatedly told him to leave her alone.
The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said she was "really scared" as the Sunderland defender allegedly attacked her as they shared a taxi after a night out in Yarm, Teesside.
Bramble, 30, is on trial accused of groping a woman's bottom in a nightclub before sexually assaulting a second woman in a taxi home.
The woman told Teesside Crown Court she and Bramble, who had both left Yarm's Cross Keys nightclub, went into an alley outside the club where Bramble tried to kiss her.
But, knowing he had a girlfriend, she felt uncomfortable and told him to stop.
"I told him to get off," she said.
She told the court they agreed to share a taxi but during the journey she claimed Bramble tried to kiss her again.
"He put his hand between my legs and up my dress and I told him to stop immediately," she told the court
She said the footballer told the driver to take them to his home in Wynyard, near Middlesbrough, but she told him she wanted to go straight home.
Bramble twice "forced" her hand onto his groin, she claimed, by which point she was "really scared".
"He grabbed my hand, put it on his crotch," she told the court as she fought back tears.
The cab driver was so alarmed by Bramble's behaviour, he drove him to a police station and reported him, the court heard.
Giving evidence from behind a screen, she said she locked herself in a toilet at the police station and refused to leave until Bramble had been led away by officers.
Bramble denies four charges of sexual assault, said to have taken place on September 28 last year.
Yesterday, the first alleged victim told the jury she felt someone squeeze her bottom in the Cross Keys nightclub and turned to see Bramble "smirking", which made her "very uncomfortable".
She reported the assault after the other alleged incident appeared on the television news, the court has heard.
Bramble made no comment during police interviews.
Taxi driver Abid Hussain took Bramble and the alleged victim to a police station after he became concerned for the woman's welfare.
Mr Hussain, who picked the pair up outside Yarm's Cross Keys nightclub, said Bramble got angry over the £20 fare and seemed "a bit drunk".
During the journey, he saw Bramble kiss the complainant for 15 to 20 seconds before she pulled away, he told the court.
He said he could not see what was happening in the back seat but heard the defendant say: "You're not giving me a kiss".
He then felt the woman squeeze his shoulder, which he though was "suspicious" and believed it was a signal for help.
"She put her hand on my arm," Mr Hussain told the court.
"She was squeezing my arm.
"I just felt like she was asking me for help."
To avoid a confrontation he told Bramble he was taking him home to Wynyard.
But instead he diverted to Stockton police station, telling the defendant it was because he had not paid the correct fare.
"I needed an excuse to go to the police station," he said.
When they arrived the woman locked herself in a toilet until Bramble was led away by officers.
The police officer who arrested Bramble over sexual assault claims found the footballer "urinating on the front of the police station", he told the court.
PC John Smith was entering Stockton police station when he spotted Bramble.
"He was very drunk," PC Smith told jurors.
"He kept telling me his driver was in the station."
He said he went into the reception area to find the complainant "very distressed".
"She told me that whilst in a taxi, Mr Bramble had taken her hand and placed it on his trousers," he said.
He arrested Bramble on suspicion of sexual assault. Bramble was interviewed by a detective and made no comment except to deny the charges.
The trial was adjourned until tomorrow.
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