Ex-SAFC midfielder Cabral tells rape trial: Woman 'wanted to have sex with me'

Cabral

Cabral

A former Sunderland footballer accused of raping a woman he met in a nightclub has told a court she wanted to have sex with him.

Adilson Tavares Varela, known as Cabral, told Hull Crown Court he had consensual sex with the woman at his flat.

The ex-Black Cats midfielder denied being "persistent, forceful and aggressive" and said he stopped having sex with the woman when she asked him to.

The woman has told the jury that Varela pinned her down on his bed and raped her after they met during a night out in Newcastle.

But the footballer said there was an attraction between them and told the court they kissed and danced together before going back to his home with friends, including retired French international Anthony Reveillere.

He said the woman asked him to go into the bedroom, where they began to have sex.

When asked about her behaviour, Varela said: "It was normal. It was a normal girl who wanted to have sex with me.

"It seemed to me she was used to doing this as she was in no way ashamed."

Varela replied "no" when Kitty Taylor, defending, asked him if he ever thought that the woman did not want to be doing what she was doing, if she was uncomfortable or if she protested.

He told the court that he removed all of his clothes except for his socks and that he and the woman had sex in two different positions.

Speaking through an interpreter, Cape Verde-born Varela told the jury that the woman asked him to stop after around 15 minutes because she was tired.

Varela, who has a fiancee and a three-year-old son who live in Switzerland, told the court he got dressed and returned to the others in the living room, where he sent a message to a woman he described as a "sex buddy".

He said the complainant later left his flat with the others and was upset because she thought her mother would be angry with her.

Varela, who now plays for Swiss team FC Zurich, denies two counts of rape.

Varela told the court there were always girls in the VIP areas of clubs that he could take home for consensual sex.

But he said he did not understand what was happening when the police arrived at his home.

He said: "I've never been in that situation, ever. I've never done something wrong in my life."

Mrs Taylor asked him: "Did you feel you had done anything wrong with (the woman)?"

Varela said: "No."

She asked: "Did you rape her?"

The defendant again replied: "No."

The court heard that Varela shares his earnings with family members in Switzerland and Cape Verde.

He said: "My family depends on my football. Football is all my life. Football is all I can do."

Mrs Taylor asked: "Have you ever done anything in your life to risk that?"

Varela answered: "Never."

In cross-examination, Neil Usher, prosecuting, suggested that Varela was "expecting something in return" from the woman after he spent around £1,200 on drinks, including a jeroboam of vodka.

The defendant said: "No, never."

Mr Usher asked Varela about a video clip of the woman dancing in the club and said: "That dancing, and the fact she was wearing revealing clothing, that turned you on, didn't it?

"Having seen the way she was dressed and having seen the way she was dancing, you decided that you were going to have sex with that girl, didn't you?"

Varela replied: "No."

The trial was adjourned until Tuesday.