- Concerned cabbie drove pair straight to police station
- Sunderland star denies four counts of sexual assault
By Paul Sims
PUBLISHED: 08:35 EST, 28 May 2012 | UPDATED: 05:02 EST, 29 May 2012
Sunderland footballer Titus Bramble, 30, is on trial accused of sexually assaulting two women
A woman who shared a taxi with Premier League footballer Titus Bramble claimed he grabbed her hand and put it on his crotch, a court heard yesterday.
When the Sunderland defender repeated the action, the woman said 'this is not right, stop' and started pleading to be taken home, the jury was told.
The concerned cab driver then took matters into his own hands because the woman looked scared - and drove the pair straight to a police station.
To ‘pull the wool’ over Bramble’s eyes, the driver told him they were going to the station because the star had given him the wrong up-front fare.
But once inside he asked to be seen alone by officers and alerted them to the incident.
The girl then made a statement and Bramble, 30, was later arrested.
Yesterday, the player appeared in court accused of assaulting two women within 30 minutes of each other on a night out last September.
In the first incident it is claimed he grabbed a woman’s bottom in a nightclub. But in the second he is said to have repeatedly assaulted the girl in the cab.
Teesside Crown Court heard Bramble had been out partying in the North Yorkshire village of Yarm when the alleged assaults took place.
His first alleged victim was drinking in the same club with friends, including an off-duty police officer, when Bramble is said to have grabbed her bottom. It was not a slap or a pat, but a full-hand grab, she told the jury.
She told the court: ‘As I turned round I looked up and saw him smirk at me. I felt very uncomfortable so I walked towards my friend, the off-duty police officer. I said: “He’s just grabbed my a***.” He said: “He plays for Sunderland”. I said: “I don’t care what he does, he’s not grabbing me like that”.’
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Titus Bramble is charged in connection with alleged incidents during a night out in Yarm, Teesside, on September 28 last year
Half an hour later, at 1.30am, Bramble left the Cross Keys, a pub which also operates as a club, and approached his second alleged victim outside.
She was trying to help a drunken friend to her feet when he is said to have grabbed her by the hand and led her down an alleyway and started kissing her.
Prosecutor Shaun Dodds said: ‘She accepts she kissed him back but then came to her senses…so she walked back to her friend.
‘The defendant was talking to a friend about going to a club in Middlesbrough so asked the girl if she would be interested in joining him at the club. She said she didn’t want to and wanted to go home so they agreed to share a taxi because her home was en route to Middlesbrough.
‘Once in the taxi the defendant told the driver to take them to Wynyard where he lives.’
During the journey, Bramble is accused of assaulting her.
Premier League star: Bramble playing for Sunderland in a match against Blackburn at the Stadium of Light
Mr Dodds said: ‘He leaned across and tried to kiss her but she said “no”. He then placed his hand on her leg and moved it towards her crotch. She grabbed his arm and pulled it off.’
He continued: ‘He (Bramble) then grabbed the girl’s right hand and put it on his crotch. She pulled her hand away and said this is not right, stop. He didn’t listen and did the same again.
‘The taxi driver became aware that something was going on inside the back of his taxi because the girl leaned forward and was pulling on his arm pleading with him quietly that she wanted to be taken home.’
It was then he decided to take the pair straight to Stockton police station.
Bramble denies four charges of sexual assault. He says any sexual activity in the back of the taxi was consensual.
The trial continues.
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