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NOT GUILTY: Goalkeeper cleared of raping woman in Watford

 Published on: 21st May 2024   |   By: News Bulletin   |   Category: Uncategorized

A semi-professional goalkeeper was today (May 21) cleared of raping a woman after a cup final victory at Wembley Stadium.

Michael Emery, 33, was also found not guilty of causing her distress by sending naked images of her to his teammates at Warrington Rylands.

Mr Emery, known as Mikey, was the team’s reserve goalkeeper in the FA Vase final 3-2 victory on May 22, 2021.

The woman, who is in her 30s, had joined the side’s celebrations at The Grove hotel in Watford, a venue regularly used by the England team.

He was the only player to be sleeping alone in a twin room and offered the woman the chance to stay in his room.

In a police recorded interview, played to the jury at St Albans Crown Court,  she said they had consensual sex, which she described as “good”, albeit “‘transactional” and “vanilla”.

She said she had drunk six or seven bottles of Moretti beer from 5pm to 1am.

She said: “It was like, you know,  it has been a good evening. He is a good-looking guy. It’s been a long time because of lockdown.  It was like transactional. I don’t think we would have if I wasn’t staying in his room. Why not?  We had sex consensually. It was fine. There was nothing weird or whatever.”

She claimed that later that night that he woke her by biting her and twice raped her.

Mr Emery denied two charges of rape and one of disclosing private sexual photographs or films without consent with intent to cause distress in the early hours of May 23, 2021. He was found not guilty by the jury of seven men and five women, who had been considering their verdicts for three hours 16 minutes.

The court heard at 3.43am, Mr Emery sent an image of the sleeping complainant with her breasts exposed to group called First Team and GK training.

One message said ‘Anyone want a go?’ followed by a laughing crying emoji. A participant in the group chat responded: “show us her g…”

At 4.12am when she was awake, another photograph was taken in which her breast and vaginal area were visible. It was taken surreptitiously, said the prosecutor.

The woman spoke to the football club’s chairman, Mark Pye, in the summer of 2021.

“It was during that conversation she learned Mr Emery had also taken and distributed naked pictures of her without her consent,” said Ms Newell.

Mr Pye had instructed players to delete the images, the jury was told.

The woman went to the police on August 16, 2021 and gave a recorded interview on September 8 that year.

Under cross-examination by Mr Emery’s barrister Kate Blackwell KC, the woman was asked why she had not left the bedroom: “You weren’t being held down?”

The woman replied: “I didn’t at that moment know what to do. I didn’t have the control over my logical thought processes.”

Ms Blackwell said: “You were relaxed enough to fall asleep.”

She replied “I was not relaxed. I was numb.”

Ms Blackwell asked: “Had it crossed your mind to leave the bedroom?”

She replied: “I don’t know where I would have gone.”

Ms Blackwell said: “Could you have gone to reception and told them you were brutally raped in your bed?”

She replied: “I could I suppose.”

Earlier, Ms Blackwell put it to the woman that in the morning, Mr Emery had explained to her that his love life was complicated.

She said: “You seemed disappointed and said ‘Well that makes me feel special.’  The complainant replied: “No.”

In the witness box, the goalkeeper said they had consensual sexual activity on three occasions during the night. Asked if he had woken her twice in the night by biting her and having sex without her consent, he said: “No never.”

He was asked why he had taken an intimate photo of the woman who had not given him permission.

He replied: “I don’t know. I was bragging. I deeply regret taking it. It was stupid. If I could take it back. I would. I can’t justify why I did it. It is horrible.”

Mr Emery said he had not meant it when he sent the caption: “Anyone want a go?”

He said: “I was just showing off and being a lad. I don’t know why I did it.”

He admitted sending another image of the complainant when she was awake. “I responded to the message without thinking and sent a vile photo.”

He was cleared of the images charge after Ms Blackwell argued in her closing speech that he had not intended to cause the woman distress.

The judge Mr Justice Goss told Mr Emery: “You have been acquitted by the jury. You are free to go. You are discharged from the court.”


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