Former Norwich City player accused of sex assault described as ‘nicest person I know’ by friend

PUBLISHED: 12:19 23 January 2019 | UPDATED: 13:00 23 January 2019

Former Norwich City player Robert Eagle. Picture: Archant

Former Norwich City player Robert Eagle. Picture: Archant

Archant © 2006

A friend of a former Norwich City player accused of sexually assaulting a woman in a Norwich nightclub said he did not see him in contact with any woman on the night.

Norwich Crown Court has heard that a woman at the former Mercy nightclub on Prince of Wales Road was allegedly sexually assaulted in the club in an incident which happened after midnight on February 4 last year.

The prosecution allege that Robert Eagle, who played just 10 times for the Canaries before going onto play for Lowestoft Town, had been out with friends at the club and had been in “high spirits” but had gone too far and “ended up sexually assaulting a woman at the nightclub”.

Giving evidence on Wednesday (January 23) Christopher Henderson, who described Eagle as his best friend, said he had not seen the defendant in contact with any woman in the night.

Mr Henderson, who used to play for Lowestoft and Leiston, had been out with Eagle and other team mates that night on a belated Christmas night out and also to celebrate the recent birth of the defendant’s son.

He told the jury of eight women and four men that he saw Eagle being thrown out of the club but did not know why.

Mr Henderson, who had been waiting for him to return, said he did not know until the following day that he had been arrested.

When asked by Miss Eley, defending, if he saw his friend “in contact with another female that night” he replied “no”.

When asked to describe the defendant, he said Eagle was “probably the nicest person I know”.

The jury heard yesterday that Eagle had been playing football for Leiston in Suffolk on Saturday, February 3 last year.

Eagle, who now works at Sizewell B, said he had gone out in Norwich later that evening with about 10 friends, including a number of his teammates.

He said it was like a belated Christmas do and also to celebrate the birth of his son who was just a few weeks old.

Eagle confirmed he had been to the Dog House pub, where he had consumed a couple of pints of Guinness and two Jack Daniels and Coke before heading on to Mercy.

While at the nightclub Eagle had more JD and Cokes before an incident which led to him being ejected from Mercy.

Eagle described how when he “waved my hands behind her” towards her bottom in a “lads gesture”.

It was between 30 seconds and a minute later that he said he was escorted out of the club.

Yesterday the alleged victim gave evidence from behind a screen.

The woman, 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”.’

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

The trial continues.

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