Dons midfielder Mark Randall denies sexual assault

Mark Randall
Mark Randall

A Championship footballer who groped a woman in a nightclub and told her “I bet you want some of that” shrugged as if he had done nothing wrong when confronted, a court heard on Thursday.

MK Dons midfielder Mark Randall cupped his hand over the woman’s vagina as he walked past her on his way out of the club while on a night out with team mates, the jury was told.

He was immediately pulled aside by a security guard but denied he had done anything wrong, jurors heard.

The footballer - who started his career with Premier League giants Arsenal - admitted touching the woman but insisted he did so on her thigh, adding he simply said goodnight to her as he left the MK Social nightclub.

However, jurors were shown CCTV footage of the incident, which appeared to show Randall grab the woman on her vagina over her clothing.

Security guard Gordon Renton said he watched 26-year-old Randall approach the woman “out of curiosity” after noticing he was “focusing” on her.

He told the nine women and three men jurors: “He walked towards her and grabbed her between the legs. I pulled him away from the situation - I didn’t want it to escalate any further.

“There was no stumble, it was an intention on grabbing between the legs.

“I grabbed him firmly, enough to pull him away. I asked him ‘what do you think you are doing?’ He just shrugged, as if nothing had happened.

“I explained ‘you do realise you’ve committed a sexual assault?’ He said words to the effect that he didn’t know what I was talking about.”

Randall’s team mates stepped forward to ask what was happening, Mr Renton told the court, with some saying: “We’re sorry, he’s drunk.”

Mr Renton said at the time of intervening he did not know Randall - who said he drank six pints of lager over the course of the evening - was a member of the MK Dons squad and explained he was treating him as a regular customer.

He added: “I couldn’t tell you any of the MK Dons players. He was doing something he shouldn’t have been doing.”

Nadia Chbat (corr), defending, said Mr Renton was standing behind the victim - who cannot be named for legal reasons - and so would not have had a clear view of what had happened. The security guard replied: “I wasn’t directly behind her. I could see very clearly what happened.”

Mrs Chbat suggested Mr Renton was mistaken in what he had seen and that Randall had touched the woman on the thigh. Mr Renton said: “I don’t make mistakes - I know exactly what I saw. I have been doing this job for a very long time - what I saw was 100 per cent what I saw.

“It couldn’t have been any clearer to me. I couldn’t have had an impaired view. I knew what happened.”

When asked by Rossano Scamardella (both corr), prosecuting, if he would have taken Randall to one side if he had touched the woman on the thigh, Mr Renton said: “Of course not, no.”

In his interview with police Randall claimed he had tapped the woman on the thigh and said ‘goodnight’ before moving to leave the club.

He told officers: “I said goodbye, have a good night and that was it. A bouncer grabbed me. That’s as far as I remember.”

When asked why he had touched the woman, Randall said: “Just so she knew I was speaking to her.”

He denied the touching was sexual and added that he had not spoken to the woman during the course of the evening, although some of his team mates had.

After the woman made the allegation, Police constable James O’Brien, Thames Valley Police’s football liaison officer for MK Dons, informed the club’s first team manager Karl Robinson, who in turn told Randall of the complaint.

The defendant told police: “I was a bit confused. I didn’t mean to do anything to harm her, or do anything that would make her feel uncomfortable.”

It was claimed Randall told the woman: “I bet you want some of that” as he grabbed her. The footballer said: “It happened so quickly - within a second - I don’t think there was time for me to say what the lady said.

Officers interviewing the footballer told him of the victim’s versions of events.

They said: “She describes this person coming from her right. She believes he grabbed her by cupping his hand and cupping it over her vagina. She is confident it was a deliberate grab to that area.” Randall - who has also played for Burnley, Rotherham United and Chesterfield, as well as the Italian club Ascoli - denied this.

In a police statement the victim said she had spoken to Mr Robinson about the incident and the word compensation was mentioned during the course of their conversation, the court heard.

Samantha Arnold, one of the investigating officers, explained that did not mean the woman wanted to receive a compensation payout. She told the court: “[The victim] wanted him to pay for what he’d done. She wanted for him to be punished by the court and for him to know what he’d done was not acceptable.”

Jurors were told that first team manager Mr Robinson was interviewed by police over the incident after voluntarily attending Milton Keynes police station, while the team’s goalkeeper David Martin, who had “ushered” Randall out of the nightclub, provided officers with a statement.

Randall faces one charge of sexual assault. He denies the offence.

The trial at Aylesbury Crown Court continues.