Jack Diamond trial: Sunderland footballer found not guilty of rape and sexual assault

A Sunderland footballer has been cleared of raping a woman he met on a dating site.

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Jack Diamond was accused of groping then raping the alleged victim at the house he then shared with team mate Anthony Patterson.

Newcastle Crown Court has heard 23-year-old winger Diamond had invited the woman, who he met on Tinder, to spend the night and there had been some sexual activity before they fell asleep.

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But prosecutors claimed Diamond then woke up, started to "feel and caress" her and she asked him to stop but he carried on.

Diamond, of Fatfield, Washington, Tyne and Wear, denied rape and assault by penetration throughout the case and was today found not guilty on both charges.

The sportsman appeared to fight back tears as the jury foreman delivered the unanimous not guilty verdicts.

Sunderland footballer Jack Diamond has been cleared of rape and sexual assault following a trial at Newcastle Crown Court. Photo: Stu Forster/Getty Images.Sunderland footballer Jack Diamond has been cleared of rape and sexual assault following a trial at Newcastle Crown Court. Photo: Stu Forster/Getty Images.
Sunderland footballer Jack Diamond has been cleared of rape and sexual assault following a trial at Newcastle Crown Court. Photo: Stu Forster/Getty Images.

During the trial Diamond gave evidence from the witness box and said it was he who refused to have sex with the woman, which left her in a "huff".

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He told jurors he grew up in Washington and signed his first professional football contract with Sunderland at age just 16, then spent time on loan with other clubs.

Diamond said he made it clear on his Tinder dating profile he was looking for something "not serious".

He said on the night in question he invited the woman over to "relax, cuddle".

He told jurors the woman got into his bed with him and added: "We just started cuddling, touching each other. We were both touching each other.

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"It lasted a little while then started to get a bit more heated, she mounted me and got on top of me."

Diamond said he told the woman he did not think sex was a "good idea" and explained to the jury this was because he feared things "getting a bit too serious".

He said after being rejected, the woman turned away from him in bed and appeared to be in a "huff".

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Diamond said to "comfort" the woman he started to initiate things again and they started kissing.

He said he then he got on top of her but she told him "I think the moment has gone" and they stopped.

Diamond said the woman left the house shortly afterwards and told jurors: "Reflecting on it now, maybe shows she wanted some kind of attention, for me to say something more to her, ask her to stay."

His barrister Eleanor Laws KC asked Diamond if he did anything to the woman without consent and he replied: "Absolutely not."

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Miss Laws asked Diamond if he would ever "carry on" after a  woman asked to stop and he told the court: "I would never, ever think of doing that, ever."

Miss Laws asked Diamond if he had raped or sexually assaulted the woman and he replied: "Absolutely not".