Sunderland footballer accused of raping woman he met on Tinder cleared of charges | Football | Sport

Sunderland footballer Jack Diamond has been cleared of raping a woman who he met on the dating app Tinder. The forward has revealed that he is looking forward to ‘resuming his career’ after being found not guilty of raping and sexually assaulting a woman.

Diamond denied assaulting the woman at his home in Washington, Sunderland, in May last year. He claimed that all sexual contact had been consensual after they matched on Tinder in 2019, with their on-off relationship being mostly sexual.

Prosecutors told Newcastle Crown Court that Diamond forced himself on the woman during one encounter after she had agreed to go to his house for a ‘cuddle’ on May 7. The Sunderland forward said that all sexual activity that evening was consensual and that the woman was ‘in a mood with him’ after she attempted to initiate sex but he refused, prompting her to then leave.

Prosecutor David Povall claimed that the woman did consent to sexual activity before Diamond fell asleep but he then woke up and sexually assaulted and raped her, which he denied.

Barrister Eleanor Laws KC, who was defending Diamond, told jurors: “He is not on trial for being immature, he is not on trial for making mistakes, he is not on trial for misreading the signals about whether he had hurt someone.”

According to LBC, the jury took ‘around 15 minutes’ to reach their decision before Diamond was declared not guilty of rape and sexual assault on Monday, January 8. The 23-year-old was visibly relieved by the verdict and struggled to hold back the tears.

Speaking outside of court after the case, Diamond said: “I have today been acquitted of all charges at Newcastle Crown Court. I have always maintained my innocence and today marks my total exoneration underlined by the jury reaching its verdict in seven minutes.

“I am grateful to the jury for considering the evidence carefully and for reaching what is the correct conclusion. I always said I was looking into clearing my name in court.

“The last 18 months have been hugely challenging. I would like to thank my legal team Mrs Laws KC, Mr Derbyshire and the entire team for their dedication and skill. I would also like to thank all my family and friends who have been with me during this time. I now look forward to resuming my career.”

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