Rugby rape trial: Alleged victim tells court "I was raped. I do not think I can make myself much clearer"

Update 7.20pm: The woman at the centre of a rape trial involving two Irish international rugby players has denied telling "lies" to protect her reputation.

The woman also rejected defence claims she had willingly engaged in sexual activity because she was in an "excited and intoxicated state".

She told Belfast Crown Court: "I was raped. I do not think I can make myself much clearer."

Paddy Jackson, 26, from Oakleigh Park in Belfast, and Stuart Olding, 24, from Ardenlee Street also in the city, deny raping the same woman at a house in south Belfast in June 2016.

Jackson denies a further charge of sexual assault.

During cross examination, Jackson's barrister Brendan Kelly QC, put it to the court: "You were petrified that either the rumour or the proof of this sexual activity would find its way to your friends.

"That's what drove you on as far as running with this lie, is it not?"

The woman responded: "No, this is not a lie, Mr Kelly."

The rape is alleged to have happened during the early hours of June 28 2016 at an after party in Jackson's home following a night out in a Belfast club.

In the aftermath, while in a distressed state and waiting for a taxi, the woman is said to have remarked 'this does not happen to a girl like me', the court heard.

"What doesn't happen to a girl like you?" asked Mr Kelly.

"Rape, as far as we know, can happen to any girl."

The woman replied: "Yes, it can and it happened to me."

The lawyer added: "What might not happen to girls like you is that you are witnessed in group sexual activity?"

The complainant answered: "Mr Kelly, again I was raped. It was not consensual group activity at all."

The woman described as "twisted" defence claims that she had lied to protect herself from any potential fallout which may be posted on social media.

She also rejected suggestions that because she had been in an "intoxicated and excited state" she had engaged in sexual activity of her own choice.

Mr Kelly said: "No doubt unplanned, you engaged in group sexual activity, that's what happened?"

The woman replied: "I was raped. I do not think I can make myself much clearer."

Later, the woman was cross examined by a barrister representing Stuart Olding.

When asked whether her alleged attackers had kissed other parts of her body, she said: "I was handled like a piece of meat.

"There was not one bit of my body that they did not touch."

Referring to notes taken by professionals at a rape crisis centre hours after the attack, Frank O'Donoghue QC asked why she had provided an "utterly inconsistent" account of events.

"I think you are underestimating the state of shock after you have been raped," the complainant said.

She refuted suggestions she had "invented" a history of events that was "wrong".

"I would not use the word invented," she added.

"You are trying to process what has happened to you. It is not a case of inventing incidents at all."

Graphic details of the alleged oral rape by Olding were also heard by the court.

Mr O'Dononghue contested the sex act had been consensual.

"You were going up and down on his penis with your mouth while you were holding his penis with your hand," he said.

"Mr Olding told you that he was going to climax. That he was going to ejaculate?"

The woman said: "No, I do not recall, and for the record, it was not consensual."

Mr O'Donoghue added: "You removed your head and he ejaculated."

The woman interjected: "I did not witness that."

The lawyer said it was "inconceivable" the woman did not witness any ejaculation and suggested her top may have been contaminated by sperm which had been on the complainant's hand.

Meanwhile, Olding's defence barrister also told the court his client had entered the bedroom intending to "crash out".

At the time, it was claimed, the woman, who had been "straddling Jackson", beckoned for Olding to join in and then "performed oral sex".

The woman said: "Why did he then rape me? Those are not the actions of someone who is going to crash out."

Two other men have also been returned for trial on charges connected with the same incident alleged to have happened at the after party.

Blane McIlroy, 26, from Royal Lodge Road, Ballydollaghan, Belfast, has pleaded not guilty to one count of exposure, while Rory Harrison, 25, from Manse Road, Belfast denies perverting the course of justice and withholding information.

Blane McIlroy

Throughout proceedings the four defendants, who arrived at court separately, sat alongside each other in the dock.

Jackson was dressed in a navy jumper and open neck shirt. Olding wore a dark suit, white shirt and blue tie. McIlroy was wearing a dark grey suit, white shirt and tie while Harrison was dressed in a dark blue suit, white shirt and patterned tie.

The woman gave evidence from behind a curtain and her evidence was relayed to the court through a screen.

Judge Patricia Smyth warned the 12 person jury panel to ignore the opinions of "fireside lawyers" and also reiterated warnings not to carry out independent research online.

She told the jury to wait until all the evidence had been heard before coming to any final conclusions.

The case continues.

Rory Harrison

Update 6.20pm: Jury shown clothing of alleged victim

Clothing worn by the woman who has accused two Irish rugby players of rape has been shown to a court in Belfast.

The thong-style pants, white trousers and strappy black sequinned top were removed from brown envelopes and presented to the complainant, judge and jury for examination.

The items had already been forensically examined, the court heard.

Brendan Kelly QC, representing Paddy Jackson, who denies rape, said: "I am sorry if this is in any way distressing. It's important that I show the items of clothing you will understand."

Some of the clothing had tan marks.

Previously the court has been told the woman said she had no intention of having sex that night and had not tanned her whole body.

Also, in prosecution evidence, the complainant described her trousers as having blood stains.

Mr Kelly asked: "Where is the blood, all the way down the back of the trousers?

"Where is the blood that you have described?"

The woman stated: "Whenever I took the trousers off I was looking at the inside of the trouser.

"I was bleeding significantly. I presumed that it had soaked through."

Photographs, showing some patches of blood on the trousers were also shown to the court.

Mr Kelly added: "Where are they covered in blood?"

The woman responded: "The blood I noted was on the inside of the trouser. I myself was covered in blood. Whenever I took them off."

When asked to account for an area of "dark staining" on the seat of the trousers, the woman said she may have sat on something while momentarily stepping outside at the after party.

"I don't know, I have obviously sat on something," she stated.

Meanwhile, the woman was also quizzed about the appearance of blood on the inside of the "thinnest" part of her pants.

"Because I wiped myself," the woman said. "I was aware I was bleeding."

She also rejected defence suggestions she had been bleeding prior to the alleged rape.

"The only reason there could be blood on those pants is because you were bleeding immediately prior to the attack that you describe," said Mr Kelly.

However, the woman retorted: "That's completely incorrect. I was bleeding because of Patrick Jackson.

"The doctor confirmed that I had an internal tear. I was not bleeding before. I was not on my period. I completely reject that."

The court heard how the alleged victim wrote down the names of her attackers when she returned home during the early hours of the morning.

She did not know Stuart Olding's name, but wrote a description, it emerged.

Stuart Olding

When questioned about the handwriting, she said: "That's my handwriting after I was crying and raped Mr Kelly."

Meanwhile, during further cross examination, the woman was asked to reflect on text exchanges with a friend hours after the alleged assault.

In one message at 9.52am she wrote: "Worst night ever. So I got raped."

The text was followed by five upside down emoji smiley faces, the court was told.

She said the emoji's represented a "mixture of emotions".

But, when asked by the defence if they suggested any sort of "regret", the woman responded: "Why would I regret a situation I had absolutely no control over, Mr Kelly?"

She told the court she did not telephone her friends to speak to them because she did not want her family to hear her talking.

"I was speaking to them, I was texting them," the woman replied.

The case continues.

Update 2.42pm: Woman denies 'lying to protect her reputation'

A woman who accuses two Ireland rugby internationals of rape has rejected suggestions she lied to protect her reputation.

The woman also dismissed defence claims she had willingly engaged in group sex.

She told the court: "I was raped. I do not think I can make myself any clearer."

Paddy Jackson, from Oakleigh Park in Belfast, and Stuart Olding, from Ardenlee Street also in the city, deny raping the same woman at a house in south Belfast in June 2016.

Jackson denies a further charge of sexual assault.

During cross-examination, Brendan Kelly QC, representing Jackson, put it to the court: "You were petrified that either the rumour or the proof of this sexual activity would find its way to your friends.

"That's what drove you on as far as running with this lie, is it not?"

The woman responded: "No, this is not a lie, Mr Kelly."

The woman was also questioned about comments she made to one of the defendants in the aftermath of the attack, in which she is claimed to have said "this does not happen to a girl like me".

Mr Kelly asked: "What doesn't happen to a girl like you?

"Rape, as far as we know, can happen to any girl."

The woman replied: "Yes, it can and it happened to me."

The lawyer further suggested: "What might not happen to girls like you is that you are witnessed in group sexual activity?"

The complainant answered: "Mr Kelly, again I was raped. It was not consensual group activity at all."

Earlier, the court was shown clothing, including underwear worn by the woman on the night she alleges she was attacked, June 28, 2016.

A pair of thong-type pants, white trousers and black sequinned top were removed from brown envelopes and shown to the complainant, judge and jury.

Two other men have also been returned for trial on charges connected with the same incident alleged to have happened at an after-party following an evening at a Belfast nightclub.

Blane McIlroy (aged 26) from Royal Lodge Road, Ballydollaghan, Belfast, has pleaded not guilty to one count of exposure, while Rory Harrison (aged 25) from Manse Road, Belfast denies perverting the course of justice and withholding information.

Before the legal proceedings got underway for a seventh day, Judge Patricia Smyth warned the 12-person jury panel not to carry out independent research online and to ignore media reports on the case.

The case continues.

- PA

Earlier: Jury in rugby stars' rape trial shown clothes alleged victim was wearing

The jury in Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding’s rape trial has been shown the clothes their alleged victim was wearing on the night in question.

She claims the Ireland and Ulster rugby players raped her at Jackson’s house in Belfast in the early hours of June 28, 2016.

When asked by Jackson’s barrister how long she was in the bedroom for, the woman said: "I have absolutely no idea; an eternity."

She also denied lying about what happened while texting her friends afterwards.

- Digital Desk


Related Articles

Teen drink driver crashed on way to mother’s grave

€18k for garda 14 years after gun put to his head

Man suing over blurred vision settles with hospital

High Court to rule on application by Leaving Cert students facing expulsion

More in this Section

Man arrested after gardaí seize firearm and ammunition in Limerick

EPA: Poor water quality in private supplies

Gardaí seek assistance locating missing 13-year-old from Macroom

Taoiseach: Cork must succeed if Ireland is to succeed


Lifestyle

Otto Bathurst hitting the target with new take on Robin Hood

Sitting on rotting laurels in new Fallout 76 game

Jamie Dornan stars in new dark tale of family coming to RTÉ

A breath of fresh air for asthmatics

More From The Irish Examiner