Peter Roebuck.
Peter Roebuck. Supplied

Death plunge after sex complaint

NEW revelations from a South African news website suggest Peter Roebuck's sex assault complainant was a man he'd met on Facebook just days earlier.

South Africa's New Age website was told Roebuck had tried to seduce his new Facebook friend and have sex with him against his will.

The former Somerset captain fell to his death from a Newlands, Cape Town hotel on Sunday night, after being accused of sexual assault by police who had come to see him.

The New Age reports Roebuck, 55, met the 26-year-old male "a few days ago", with the pair later meeting at the hotel to discuss a possible university sponsorship for the Zimbabwean.

Meanwhile a friend of Roebuck has described how the cricket writer and commentator was in a "state of utter despair" just before he died.

Fellow cricket commentator Jim Maxwell told the Sydney Morning Herald he received a call from Roebuck just after 9pm, asking him to hurry to his sixth storey room at the Southern Sun.

On arrival Maxwell found two policemen with Roebuck, who had just been told a 26-year-old Zimbabwean man had accused him of sexual assault.

Maxwell told the SMH he was allowed to remain with Roebuck for two minutes, before being told to leave by police.

At 9.15pm Roebuck fell to his death.

Maxwell would not speculate as to what happened in the moments before he died, although he told the paper he did not believe it was "sinister", despite one officer leaving the room at the time of the fall, meaning no one can corroborate the other officer's story of events.

He said Roebuck was sitting next to the window, "in a state of utter despair".

"Given his state of mind, he just had a brain snap. That is all I can assume."

The allegation against Roebuck is not the first the acclaimed writer has faced. In 2001, the Englishman pleaded guilty to three charges of common assault involving three 19-year-old South African men who had been staying with. He was given a suspended jail sentence of four months for each charge.

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