UK & World News
Footballer Sex Trial: 'It Was Just Boy Banter'
A Brighton player charged with sexually assaulting a teenager in a hotel room has claimed it was just "boy banter".
Anton Rodgers, 20, denied there was a sexual element to what went on in the room where photographs were taken on mobile phones.
He said: "This was never the case. It was just a bit of boy banter. It was a laugh but it seems stupid now. She was just giggling. She was laughing. She was bubbly."
Rodgers denied the 19-year-old was asleep. He said team-mate Leon Redwood came into the room and sprayed the initials GB, representing fellow player George Barker, onto her thigh with shaving foam.
Rodgers said he took a photograph of Barker making a thumbs-up sign next to the girl.
"It was a funny picture at the time. That's all it meant," added Rodgers.
Rodgers' father, Liverpool football manager Brendan Rodgers, sat at the back of the court with relatives of the accused.
Brighton and Hove Albion players Rodgers, Barker, 21, Lewis Dunk, 21, and former team-mate Steve Cook, 21, who now plays for Bournemouth, deny sexual assault and voyeurism.
The prosecution says the players assaulted the drunken woman when she was asleep and took pictures as a "record of their conquest".
They were arrested six months later, in July 2011, following a night-out clubbing in Brighton to celebrate winning a local cup.
The trial continues.