Sunderland player Jack Diamond has gone on trial accused of raping and sexually assaulting a woman he originally met on a dating app | Warning: This article contains descriptions of a distressing nature
Tuesday 2 January 2024 23:27, UK
A professional footballer has gone on trial accused of raping and sexually assaulting a woman he originally met on a dating app.
Prosecutors say Sunderland winger Jack Diamond, 23, assaulted the woman after he invited her to his house in Washington, Sunderland, in 2022.
The woman told police she messaged a friend for help following the alleged assaults after fearing that Diamond was contacting his housemate and fellow player about a threesome, Newcastle Crown Court heard.
Prosecutor David Povall told jurors Diamond was "keen" for the complainant to come to his house on the night of the incident, but that it was "agreed that nothing more than cuddling would happen" as she was not on the pill at the time.
The court heard that when the pair got into bed, "although it started with cuddling, it became clear that Jack Diamond wanted more".
Mr Povall said the woman "eventually" consented to some sexual activity, and woke up some time later to Diamond "caressing her".
"She asked him to stop and told him she wasn't in the mood, but he persisted," Mr Povall told jurors.
The court heard Diamond allegedly sexually assaulted and raped the woman, and that she "protested" during both.
"It was only after repeated protests and pleas for him to stop that he desisted," Mr Povall said.
The prosecutor told jurors: "Some time later, she realised he was messaging on his phone, and she feared that he was communicating with (Sunderland goalkeeper) Anthony Patterson, his housemate, who had previously raised the possibility of a threesome.
"She didn't want to get into that situation. Fearful of what might happen, she messaged a friend, asking for help.
"He told her to leave immediately, which she did. Her friend met her at her house, where he saw the very emotional and distressed state she was in, and he waited with her till the police arrived."
In an interview with police officers played in court, the woman told police she "turned over and cried" after the first sexual assault.
She said he "grabbed her wrists" and was "quite aggressive" during the alleged rape, telling officers: "It was like a switch had gone off."
The court heard after his arrest, Diamond told police that there had been consensual sexual activity but no intercourse, and that the woman was "jealous and possessive".
Two potential jurors for the trial were excluded "out of an abundance of caution" after declaring that they were Newcastle United season ticket holders.
The 15 potential panellists were asked to indicate whether they were season ticket holders for either Newcastle United or Sunderland, and whether they were planning to attend the FA Cup clash between the two sides on Saturday.
Judge Edward Bindloss told potential jurors: "This trial is nothing to do with football, it is about a different allegation entirely, but we want a jury who are able to put aside all issues of support and affiliation and come to a fair and objective view."
Excluding two of the potential panel, the judge said: "This is not meant in any way as a criticism of them but Mr Diamond is an employee of Sunderland football club. Mr Patterson may or may not be called for the defence.
"The test of bias is not just actual bias but the perception of bias."
Diamond denies both charges and the trial continues.
The player was on loan with Lincoln City last season but the deal was terminated after he was charged, and Sunderland suspended him.