Rory Best Was Instructed To Attend Jackson/Olding Trial Court Hears
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A court has heard today that Ireland captain Rory Best was instructed to attend Belfast Crown Court last week for the rape trial of teammates Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding.
The jury of nine men and three women heard Best had been asked by a senior barrister to attend the hearing last week. His attendance has caused huge debate online over the last few days.
Best was asked about his appearance after Ireland’s win over France and said it was a day off and that they don’t need permission from Schmidt and the Irish coaching team. He also added that he was a character witness and it was important he got both sides of the story.
“We sign out on a Tuesday night and Wednesday is a day off, so we don’t need permission to do stuff in our own time.
“The reason I was there is because I am on record as a character witness. It was important I got both sides of the story.”
Judge Patricia Smyth today then said:
“The only reason that Mr Rory Best was in this courtroom was because he was directed to be here by senior counsel.
“That’s the reason he was here. That’s the only reason. I think you should know that.”
The judge referenced press coverage of Mr Best’s attendance.
“You may have been aware of press coverage about the attendance at this trial of Mr Rory Best.”
Judge Smyth added that it may have been “hard” not to be aware of the coverage.