Tyne & Wear

Rape accused ex-Sunderland player Cabral says victim 'lying'

Cabral in action for Sunderland in an Under-21 game against Liverpool in 2013 Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Cabral was released by Sunderland after playing just one first-team game

A former Premier League footballer accused of raping a woman he met in a nightclub has told a jury she is lying.

Ex-Sunderland player Cabral, whose real name is Adilson Tavares Varela, told Hull Crown Court he did not know why the woman would try to destroy his life.

She has told the jury Varela pinned her down on his bed.

But the footballer has said they had consensual sex after going back to his Gateshead flat with friends.

The trial has heard they met during a night out in Newcastle.

In cross-examination, prosecutor Neil Usher asked: "Are you saying she's lying?"

Varela, 27, who denies two counts of rape, replied: "She's lying."

'Not aggressive'

Judge Jeremy Richardson QC then asked him: "Can you think of anything you may have done that would cause her to lie?"

The footballer said: "I never raped her, I was not aggressive towards her.

"When you are accused of raping someone, you then sit down and start thinking thoroughly why would someone come up with all these lies if not trying to destroy your life."

The midfielder, who was born in Cape Verde and now plays for FC Zurich, was asked about a number of other professional footballers named in court as having had sex with the woman.

Varela said he had not seen the woman with the players, but added he was given the information by Newcastle United defender Kevin Mbabu.

He said: "Kevin told me she had had a sexual relation with all these players. I was also told that she was out a great deal in Newcastle.

"I didn't see this, but I believe him."

The case continues.

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