THE footballer investigated over an alleged Ibiza hotel rape has flown back to the UK after having his travel ban lifted.
Charlton star Reeco Hackett-Fairchild, 20, had his passport taken away by a judge following his arrest on June 12 over the alleged sex attack on a 19-year-old British holidaymaker.
Solarpix Reeco Hackett-Fairchild has flown back to the UK after having his travel ban lifted
The striker was forced to miss the start of pre-season training and a friendly last weekend against Queens Park Rangers and was warned he could be a “prisoner” in Spain for months.
But he was jetting back to London today after his lawyer successfully fought for the punitive travel ban to be lifted.
The investigating judge agreed to a request to view videos recorded on his and fellow Charlton striker Karlan Ahearne-Grant’s mobile phones.
Hackett-Fairchild’s lawyer Jaime Campaner told the judge he was confident the videos would undermine the alleged victim’s claim she had been raped and show she had consensual sex with two of the three men under investigation.
Investigating judge Carmen Martin Montero ruled Hackett-Fairchild could leave Ibiza the same day she watched the videos with his defence lawyer and state prosecutors.
Solarpix The investigating judge agreed to a request to view videos recorded on his and fellow Charlton striker Karlan Ahearne-Grant’s mobile phones
The footballer, who has always insisted he is innocent of any wrongdoing, was given his passport back at midday today and was due to catch a flight home later the same day.
He remains under investigation – and has to sign on at the Spanish Embassy in London twice a month as part of his new bail conditions.
But the key development in the ongoing judicial probe will enable him to resume his on-hold career – and will give his defence team ammunition to fight any future decision to put him on trial.
Ibiza’s Court of Investigation Number Three – the court now leading the criminal probe – is still waiting for forensic tests to come back.
But the forensic doctor who examined the alleged rape victim has already made it clear he found no sign of injury including bruising that might show she had been forced to have sex.
And a previous judge who questioned the three men arrested over the June 11 incident at a hotel in Cal de Bou near the party resort of San Antonio has admitted to “reasonable doubts” a sex attack took place.
Carmen Robles Zamora also described the suspects’ version of events as “credible and coherent” in a written ruling last month.
Hackett-Fairchild will now be available to play in a second pre-season friendly for his club scheduled for this Saturday.
Non-footballer Olusola Odejayi, a 26-year-old Brit who also had his passport taken away, has also had his travel ban lifted.
All three suspects including Karlan Ahearne-Grant’s bail conditions are now the same – the twice-a-month signing-on at the Spanish Embassy in London.
None of the men have been charged as is customary in Spain where formal charges are only laid shortly before trial.
Ahearne-Grant is being investigated on suspicion of a privacy offence thought to relate to a mobile phone recording he made – but not a sex crime.
Court sources said today the men who had been forced to stay on Ibiza were being allowed to leave partly because after the phone video viewings, they were no longer deemed to be a flight risk.
The two Charlton footballers were arrested early on June 12 after the alleged victim’s parents took her to police to lodge a formal complaint.
Odejayi, who is not believed to be a professional footballer, was held the following day after an ID parade.
He told police he had sex with the teenage Brit tourist, but said it was consensual.
A Spanish National Police spokesman said after the first two arrests: “It would appear the victim and a female friend of hers who were on holiday in Ibiza with the victim’s parents, went to San Antonio on the afternoon of June 11 and met several lads from a football team in the UK in a bar there.
“Both women agreed to go back with the some of the men to the hotel they were staying at, in the municipality of San Jose.
“Once they were in a room, one of the youngsters was allegedly sexually attacked by one of the players, while a second took hold of her and a third recorded her on a mobile phone.
“After the incident, the visibly affected victim and her friend left the hotel to go back to the woman’s parents.”