International Crime

Rugby rape trial: Jackson ‘horrified’ by claim

A court has been told that Ulster and Ireland rugby player Paddy Jackson said he was “shocked and horrified” when police put a rape allegation to him.

In an interview at Musgrave police station two days after the alleged rape, Mr Jackson insisted: “I didn’t rape her.”

He claimed the alleged victim had been flirting with him and followed him up to his bedroom on two occasions.

He told police: “I strenuously deny these allegations.

“I am shocked and horrified that these allegations have been made against me.”

Mr Jackson and fellow rugby player Stuart Olding deny raping the same woman in Mr Jackson’s house, in the early hours of 28 June 2016.

Mr Jackson said they had all taken part in sexual activity, but it was consensual and no intercourse took place.

He told police: “If she didn’t want to be there, I would never have stopped her, or tried to keep her there. No way.”

Asked how the woman had seemed during the sexual activity with him and Mr Olding, he said: “Fine. I didn’t force myself on her.”

He added: “She didn’t have to stay, she could have left if she wanted to, but she didn’t.”

‘No condom’

The woman, who was 19 at the time, had gone back to Mr Jackson’s house with a group of others after an evening at Ollie’s nightclub in Belfast.

Mr Jackson said he had never met her before and did not know her name.

He said the alleged victim followed him upstairs on the night in question and they kissed.

After she asked him if he knew her name, and he did not know it, nothing more happened and they both went downstairs.

Later, he said “the same thing happened again” – he went upstairs and she followed him.

He said they started kissing again and she performed oral sex on him.

He said that a short time later, his friend Mr Olding came into the bedroom.

He said the woman performed oral sex on him too.

At the same time, Mr Jackson also engaged in sexual activity with the woman, but he insisted it was not intercourse.

He said: “She asked me if I had a condom and I didn’t.”

Two other men have also been charged in connection with the case.

Mr Jackson, 26, from Belfast’s Oakleigh Park, is charged with one count of rape and one count of sexual assault. He denies the charges.

Mr Olding, 24, from Ardenlee Street, Belfast, is also charged with rape. He too denies the charge.

Blane McIlroy, 26, of Royal Lodge Road, Belfast, is charged with one count of exposure. He denies the charge.

Rory Harrison, 25, of Manse Road, Belfast, is charged with perverting the course of justice and withholding information. He denies the charge.

The 12-person jury has been told by Judge Patricia Smyth to wait until they hear all of the evidence in the case before coming to any final conclusions.

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