SWINDON Town striker Nile Ranger concluded his evidence at Newcastle Crown Court today where he is appearing on an alleged rape charge.

The former Newcastle United player denies raping a woman in a Jesmond hotel after she repeatedly told him she only wanted to be friends.

Last week, his victim told the court that after swapping messages with Ranger, she met the player in a bar and the next thing she can remember is waking up naked in a hotel room the following morning.

In his final evidence, Ranger told the court that the woman texted him before the night out, making reference to "shotting vodka in the eye".

When he was asked about the message, Ranger said he believed it was a way of getting the alcohol into the blood stream quicker.

When asked by the judge if he saw the woman drink it in this way, or if he drank it in this way, Ranger replied ‘no’ on both occassions.

Following Ranger’s concluding evidence, the court heard the closing speech from prosecutor Christine Egerton.

She said: “She was in no fit state to consent and he knew full well how she felt about matters.
“He deliberately took her alone to that hotel in a taxi when she was incapacitated. He deliberately took advantage of her.

“He knew she would never consent had she been sober. He deliberately ensured she was drunk or incapable in order to go further.

“He had to get her completely stupified before he could get his way and he knew exactly what he was doing.”

CCTV was played to the court which prosecutors said showed the woman falling out of the taxi outside the hotel. Ranger is seen running in to book the room, then comes back to help the woman into the hotel.

“His only motivation was to have sex with her,” said Ms Egerton.

“His mind was on one thing and he made sure he got it.

“Whether he’s a footballer or a fireman, a factory worker or a farmer, makes no difference at all. The right verdict is guilty.”

The trial was adjourned until tomorrow morning when the court will hear the closing speech from the defence.