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Footballer accused of rape and sexual assault says ‘jury cleared me in seven minutes’

Jack Diamond looks on - Footballer accused of rape and sexual assault says ‘jury cleared me in seven minutes’
Jack Diamond was unable to play football until he was eventually cleared - Getty Images/Ian Horrocks

A footballer acquitted of rape and sexual assault has called for those accused of such offences to remain anonymous unless convicted.

Jack Diamond, 24, was suspended by Sunderland in March after being charged with attacking a woman he met on dating app Tinder. He was found not guilty last month by a jury he said took just “seven minutes” to clear him.

Speaking for the first time since, Diamond laid bare the impact being publicly accused had on him, saying he “didn’t leave the house for a week or two” amid fears he would be attacked.

He told Piers Morgan Uncensored: “When the police released the statement, they named me.

“I’m thinking, ‘How can they do this?’ The police are supposed to be there to protect us. I’m thinking, ‘Is someone going to come to my house or try to do something?’ I would be on my driveway and I would just not get out of the car if there was anyone in the street. I wouldn’t want to speak to my neighbours because obviously they all knew.”

Diamond said those accused of such offences should enjoy the same lifetime anonymity as alleged victims of sex crimes unless they were convicted.

“I think both sides should be anonymous,” he said. “I probably wouldn’t be suspended either because, of course, the club has got to protect themselves from a PR side. I think the anonymity thing is there to protect.”

Diamond was charged after being accused of attacking a woman, with whom he had been in casual relationship, at his home in May 2022. He was recalled from a loan spell at Lincoln City and suspended while awaiting trial, which prevented him playing until he was eventually cleared.

“The feeling of relief lasted, I would say, about two minutes,” said Diamond, who had insisted throughout that all contact between him and his accuser had been consensual.

“Because then, after, I just think, ‘All of this for seven minutes [of jury deliberation], all of this for this to be this quick. How ridiculous’. I am obviously glad that it’s over but I still had to endure what I’ve had to endure. It’s not a breath of relief like everyone thinks it will be.”

Following the conclusion of the week-long trial, Diamond joined Carlisle United on loan until the end of the season. He said he had already been abused by rival fans during his side’s defeat at Leyton Orient on Saturday.

“I came off injured and I had to walk past the away fans,” he said. “I got the chants straight away: ‘She said no, Diamond, she said no’. But I was kind of expecting it.”

When asked how he felt towards his accuser, Diamond said: “I wouldn’t say it’s hatred. I am embarrassed for her.”

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