Former Norwich City player ‘went too far’ and sexually assaulted woman at nightclub, court hears

PUBLISHED: 12:50 22 January 2019

Former Norwich City player Robert Eagle. Picture: Archant

Former Norwich City player Robert Eagle. Picture: Archant

Archant © 2006

A former Norwich City player “went too far” and sexually assaulted a woman in a Norwich nightclub, a jury has heard.

Former Norwich City player Robert Eagle. Photo: James BassFormer Norwich City player Robert Eagle. Photo: James Bass

Robert Eagle, 31, has gone on trial charged with sexual assault following an incident at the former Mercy nightclub in Prince of Wales Road, Norwich.

Jane Oldfield, who opened the prosecution case at Norwich Crown Court on Tuesday, January 22, said it follows an incident on February 4 last year.

The jury of eight women and four men were told: “In a nutshell the prosecution say that this was a lads’ night out, the defendant and his friends were in high spirits and the defendant went too far and ended up sexually assaulting a woman at the nightclub he went to.”

She said the alleged victim was at the club on the same night as the defendant who was in the club with “a group of friends”.

She said that at about 12.20am on February 4 one of Eagle’s friends, who was “very drunk”, had tried to kiss a woman on the mouth.

She managed to “get away from him” and as she was walking away Eagle was right behind her.

Miss Oldfield said: “As she passed the defendant she felt a hand from behind go up her skirt and touch her over her underwear.”

The jury was told the woman turned around “immediately and saw the defendant was the only person close enough to have touched her”.

The incident was reported to staff and Eagle was ejected.

Miss Oldfield said the prosecution say that he admitted what he had done to the general manager while waiting for police.

Eagle, who played 10 times for the Canaries before going onto play for Lowestoft Town, was arrested and interviewed by police.

He told officers he had been four or five out of 10 on the drunk scale, the court heard.

He said that he was moving around near to the woman to “show off” but “didn’t actually touch her”.

Miss Oldfield said it is the prosecution’s case that Eagle did touch the woman in that way and sexually assaulted her.

Giving evidence from behind a screen, the alleged victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told the court how she felt being touched under her skirt.

She described how it “wasn’t just like a touch, it was more like a shove”.

The witness said she turned around gave a reaction as if to say ‘what the hell?’

She said she then went to find security guards and told them “he groped me”.

In cross examination Joanne Eley, defending Eagle, said she was not going to suggest to the witness that she had “made all this up”.

She did however state that following the incident she had turned and seen a man and “rather assumed” that it was he who had assaulted her.

She put it to the witness that she had “made a mistake” in pointing him out as the one who had assaulted her.

The witness said: “No.”

Eagle, of Central Road, Leiston, Suffolk, has denied sexual assault.

The trial continues.

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