Two Nottingham rowers in court for raping a girl and sending ‘trophy pictures’ on WhatsApp

Their group was called ‘The Gruesome Threesome’


Two members of University of Nottingham’s rowing team filmed themselves raping a fellow student after she passed out, the court heard yesterday.

In Nottingham Crown Court it was said they also shared “trophy pictures” of her on WhatsApp. The victim “didn’t know how to say the word” rape and was “terrified” to ever drink again.

The two rowers, aged 28 and 24, accused of sending images of the naked victim to a WhatsApp group called ‘The Gruesome Threesome’. A seriously graphic 24-second video shown to the jury revealed one of them men having sex with the victim.

Telephone call evidence of one of the rowers speaking to a friend about the incident said:

“‘It couldn’t have been easier if we tried’.”

The victim had been out with two friends in Coco Tang in December 2014. CCTV footage showed the victim inside the club and being “extremely drunk” when she arrived. Only one of the defendants is a Nottingham student. The Tab has decided not to name them.

Nottingham Crown Court

One of the rowers took her hand and twirled her around as she danced. The prosecutor said: “She effectively fell onto [his] neck and gave him a kiss. They targeted her and picked on her because she was drunk.”

The victim left with the two defendants after 1am. But she told police the next thing she remember was the men engaging in sexual activity with her when she came round in a flat.

In a police interview from December last year shown to the jury, the victim said:

“The next thing I remember is being in these two guys apartment and I’m on the sofa and one man is to the right of me. I came round and realised what was going on. I’m saying ‘No, no, stop.’

“This went on for a few minutes.. I ended up just having to pretend I had passed out, so that they would leave me alone. One of them just stopped and walked away. He didn’t say anything.

“The other man didn’t stop when I played dead. He carried on for about 10 seconds. I don’t know whether it was because of his friend, but then he walked off too. I decided to make a run out of there.

“I ran out to the elevator, down to the ground floor and I got out of the building. I can see the train station car park and rang for a taxi. I wanted to go home, I wanted to go to mum’s house instead. I just needed my mum.

“I blamed myself, because I was so drunk. When you are drunk then you don’t know what’s going on. It was scary.”

The prosecutor continued to tell the court: “It’s quite clear, when you hear telephone evidence and the exchanges between them, that they see it as a joke to sleep with women. [One of the rowers] kept score of the women he slept with.

“You might think, on hearing the evidence, the drunker the woman is, the easier it is to sleep with her.”

The woman reported the alleged rape to police and following door-to-door inquiries led them to the rowers. After being arrested both men told police it had been a consensual sexual encounter.

The women broke down in tears when cross-examined by barristers. She said: “I was so drunk I didn’t know where I was.”

Miss Marshall, defending the rowers, replied: “You got out because you wanted to. To continue the fun that happened in the club.”

The victim responded: “I wouldn’t call what happened to me fun.”

“I just needed my mum to hold me, to make me feel safe. I will never drink again, I’m terrified.”

Both deny the rape charges and the trial continues.