UK premiership footballer rape names

posted 09 October 2003

The recent massive, deeply thoughtful and thought-provoking posts about freedom of information (see below) have pushed the original postings past the size limits of Google's indexing, so here yet again is the quoted post containing the rumoured names of the footballers accused of rape by a 17-year-old girl in London:

Those Premiership players in the gang-rape story are Newcastle: 
Bramble, Dyer, Bellamy, Ameobi, Bernard, Ambrose and Jenas. The other 
player, with whom she consented, is Carlton Cole (Chelsea).

From a freedom of information point of view, it's not entirely necessary to keep this going once it's been posted once, but all the media attention to this story has been pushing posts containing the actual names out of the top results, so it's necessary to keep it fresh to maintain that all-important pagerank.

In further updates: the News of the World (bless those tabloids) and the Metro this morning both broke with the name of Nicholas Meikle, the clubbing compatriot of the footballers involved.

Meikle told The News of the World that rooms at the top hotel had been booked in the name of England star Kieron Dyer, but he played no part in the events of the night in question, September 26.

Meikle claimed that he and three other men joined the girl "in various combinations", then the next morning they all had breakfast together.

Detectives have carried out forensic tests on items taken from the hotel and are expected to wait for the results before interviewing the players. They are also looking at CCTV pictures.

Interestingly, my link is to FOX news, who are doing exactly what I'm doing: quoting the offending source, not claiming it themselves. Of course, the News of the World article itself is here, full of really quite sordid details; no danger of them getting disappeared so I won't reprint them. There has also been widespread reporting of a second arrest of a 27-year-old man in relation to the rapes. Meikle's arrest was the first (and he's 29, not 27), so I don't know who the second guy is.

In relation to Ean's comments about how this naming will prejudice any eventual case against the accused men, the Scotsman has a long and detailed piece on Football, Rape and Trial by Tabloid which mentions the cases of John Leslie and Matthew Kelly as well:

In a statement issued last week, Commander John Yates, who is in overall charge of the case, said: "At this stage, it is vital to preserve the anonymity of all concerned in order for the administration of justice to be served.

"I am very anxious to preserve the integrity of this investigation. I would hate to see any chance of possible future proceedings put in jeopardy by further speculation or equally, for men who have not been charged with any crime and who may not be linked to any offence to face a trial by media."

So on the basis of these rumours so far, assuming they are all true and that Miekle's claims are true (he claims, according to the Scotsman, that they are backed up by a sworn affidavit from one of the other men involved): Carlton Cole is not being accused of rape, Dyer is off the hook and wasn't even there, and Bernard apparently has an alibi (in the form of a girl who says he was with her elsewhere in the hotel on that evening). Since Miekle claims only 3 other men were involved, that leaves a thinning field of Bramble, Bellamy, Ameobi, Ambrose and Jenas about whom nothing has yet been claimed. They are doubtless going to start feeling the pressure of publicity soon; it's only a matter of time before they either all declare themselves innocent, or if the allegations are true, then leave the real rapists standing alone. But please note that this is all speculation based upon rumour and hearsay, and I make no claims as to the accuracy or authenticity of any of this. Thanks.