Graphic Description Of Alleged Rape By Irish Rugby Stars Heard In Court

Day one.

Court proceedings began today at Laganside Crown Court in Belfast, with Ireland and Ulster rugby players Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding on trial for the alleged rape of a 19-year-old student, The Irish Times reports.

The court today heard graphic description of the alleged incident at Jackson’s home. The jury of nine men and three women were told that both Jackson and Olding engaged in non-consensual sex with the now 21-year-old victim.

In a lengthy opening statement,  prosecuting lawyer Toby Hedworth, QC, said that on the evening in question (Monday June 27), the victim arranged to have pre-drinks at a friends house before going to Ollie’s nightclub at the Merchant Hotel in central Belfast.

He says they then got into town by 10.30pm and ended up in the VIP section of the club where it became clear that a small group of women whom she did not know, but were mutual friends of a close friend, were going back to a party with the rugby players in question.

It’s unclear who invited her, but she joined them and eventually ended up in Paddy Jackson’s room where they engaged in consensual kissing. She made it “plain” to Mr Jackson that she “would go no further”.

Nothing untoward occurred then but subsequently she decided to leave the party because “the atmosphere had changed.” But she had to go back to Mr Jackson’s bedroom to retrieve her clutch bag.

According to the lawyer Mr Jackson followed her to his room “where he pushed her onto the bed before pulling her trousers and pants down” before penetrating her from behind.

“He had not in any way sought her consent and indeed had used force to achieve his aim,” said Mr Hedworth.

He added that she did “not suggest that she attempted to fight him off” but that she described herself as “being numb throughout what happened as if she herself was not there”.

She then noted that Stuart Olding entered the room. She recalled saying to Mr Jackson,

“Please, not him as well.”

Mr Hedworth said as Mr Jackson continued to have sex with her from behind Mr Olding forced her to perform oral sex on him. She said she was “choking and gagging.”

He said that at this stage one of the other women in the house looked into the room. The complainant said that Mr Jackson asked her did she want to “join in.”

When that woman left the complainant said that Mr Jackson penetrated her vagina digitally from behind “before trying to force his fist up her.”

“This obviously caused her considerable pain,” said Mr Hedworth.

Mr Hedworth added that Mr. McIlroy (a friend of Jackson and Olding who also is having charges brought against him) entered the room naked and sought to have sex with her.

The alleged victim said she could “not face the prospect of a further attack and quickly pulled her trousers on and picked up her pants and shoes and left the room”.

She then left the house, but realised she had left her mobile phone behind and to the house and retrieved the phone from the then empty bedroom.

You can read the full report by Gerry Moriarty of The Irish Times here.

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