Rape defendant Nile Ranger took photo of hotel bedsheets

Nile Ranger outside Newcastle Magistrates Court in October 2013 Former Newcastle striker Nile Ranger now plays for Swindon Town

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A footballer accused of rape took a photo of the bedsheets in a Newcastle hotel room where the attack allegedly took place, a court has heard.

Nile Ranger later deleted the picture but experts were able to retrieve it.

The former Newcastle United player, who is now at Swindon Town, denies rape and said he had consensual sex with the woman in January 2013.

The 22-year-old told Newcastle Crown Court he had never had sex with a woman against her will.

Previously, the jury heard the woman had met him in a bar after the pair had swapped a number of messages.

She said the next thing she remembered was waking up naked in a hotel room the following morning.

'A gentleman'

CCTV footage from the Carlton Hotel in Jesmond showed the woman falling out of a taxi.

The court was told that in a police interview Mr Ranger described helping her get up after she dropped her handbag in the road.

He said: "I'm a gentleman... I'm rubbing her back, making sure she's all right, holding her."

Toby Hedworth QC, defending, asked him why he took a photograph of the hotel sheets with the room key the next morning.

Mr Ranger said: "I haven't a clue, to be honest."

He had deleted it because "I knew the picture was wrong. I knew it did not look right."

Mr Hedworth listed the footballer's previous convictions, which included burglary, drinking and driving, and battery, when last year he pulled the hair of his girlfriend at the time.

His barrister asked: "Have you ever had sexual activity with a female against her wishes?"

Mr Ranger said: "Never."

The trial continues.

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