Latest: 'He just wouldn't stop' - Woman allegedly raped by rugby players describes incident in court

Latest: 'He just wouldn't stop' - Woman allegedly raped by rugby players describes incident in court
Ulster and Ireland rugby play Paddy Jackson at Belfast Crown Court yesterday. Picture: Alan Lewis- PhotopressBelfast.co.uk

Update 4.38pm: A woman allegedly raped by two Ireland and Ulster rugby players broke down as she gave graphic detail about the case.

Stuart Olding (aged 24) and Paddy Jackson (aged 26) are accused of raping the same woman at a property in south Belfast in June 2016. Jackson faces a further charge of sexual assault.

Both men deny the charges.

Describing the start of the alleged attack, she said: "In that moment, you think you are going to kick and scream and fight.

"But it doesn't work that way. Look, you just freeze. I knew where this was going but it just happened so quickly."

The case, which is in its third day, is scheduled to last for five weeks.

At one point in proceedings Judge Patricia Smyth asked if the complainant wanted a break, however, she declined.

When asked by the prosecution if anything else happened in the bedroom, she replied: "Patrick Jackson pushed my knees apart, he literally tried to get his whole hand up me. He wouldn't stop.

"I was trying to bend over to grab his wrist to weaken his grip. The more I bent over the more it hurt.

"I knew I was bleeding and stuff. He just wouldn't stop."

It was when Blane McIlroy allegedly appeared at the door, naked and holding his penis, the woman said, that she claimed her "fight instincts" kicked in.

"I thought, this is not happening again," she said.

The jury was told the woman felt intimidated.

"He said 'you f***** the other guys, why won't you f*** me?'

"His whole stance and demeanour was so aggressive.

"It was at that point my fight instincts kicked in. There was not a chance this was going to happen again."

A curtain was placed around the witness box, blocking the woman's view of most of the court.

The defendants, media and people in the public gallery were able to watch her giving evidence on a screen.

She claimed that as she fled, stuffing her underwear in her pocket, she told them: "How many times does it take for a girl to say no for it to sink in."

The woman said she ran downstairs and out of the house but had to return to get her mobile telephone in order to call a taxi.

It was at that point that Rory Harrison approached, she claimed.

The woman said: "I was running from the house when the front door opened and Rory Harrison came after me.

"At first I panicked but then I realised he was asking if I was OK.

"I obviously wasn't OK. I was crying a lot and he would have seen the blood on my trousers and stuff like that."

Harrison and the woman shared a taxi, and when they arrived at her house he asked if there were others in the house and would not accept payment for the cab.

She added: "I was actually very grateful. He really couldn't have done enough for me.

"I have absolutely no complaint with Rory Harrison."

During the hearing the woman was also questioned about her initial reluctance to report the incident to the police.

"I wasn't going to go to the police," she said. "You just don't think they are going to believe you.

"I really did not want to take things further because you are so embarrassed this has even happened to you.

"I didn't want people finding out. I knew if I went to the police I would have to say something to my family at some point."

She confided in two friends and after attending a rape crisis centre in Belfast, decided to go to the police.

She told the court she was glad to have spoken out.

"It's the best decision I made," she said.

Ireland and Ulster captain Rory Best attended Wednesday's hearing, as did fellow Lions, Ireland and Ulster star Iain Henderson.

Ireland and Ulster winger Craig Gilroy was also present, as was Ulster prop Kyle McCall.

The case continues.

Paddy Jackson, left, and Stuart Olding arriving at a previous court sitting
Paddy Jackson, left, and Stuart Olding arriving at a previous court sitting

Update 12.45pm: Woman at centre of rugby rape trial breaks down describing rape 'as a game of power and control'

A woman who has accused two Ireland and Ulster rugby players of rape has broken down in court while giving evidence for the first time.

The woman sobbed and wiped away tears as she told Belfast Crown Court the reason she had decided to report the alleged attack.

She said: "The more I thought about it, rape is a game of power and control. They rely on your silence. The only way you take the power back is when you actually do something about it.

"I may be preventing it happening to someone else. It could so easily have been my friends outside Ollies, it could have been my sister outside. It's the best decision I have made."

Stuart Olding, 24, and Paddy Jackson, 26, are accused of raping the same woman at a property in south Belfast in June 2016.

Jackson faces a further charge of sexual assault.

Both men deny the charges.

Two other men have also been returned for trial on charges connected with the alleged incident on June 28 2016.

Blane McIlroy, 26, from Royal Lodge Road, Ballydollaghan, Belfast, is accused of one count of exposure.

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

Later, the woman told the court: "It's not OK. No one should ever have to go through what I did.

"People just can't get on like that. I am not going to stand for it."

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

Jackson, who was dressed in a navy blazer, jumper and open-neck shirt took notes.

The public gallery was packed to capacity.

The case, which is in its third day, is scheduled to last for five weeks.

It is being heard before Judge Patricia Smyth and a jury of nine men and three women.

Earlier: A woman who claims she was raped by Paddy Jackson in his south Belfast home has told his trial she just froze when he pushed her onto his bed.

She further claims his Ireland and Ulster rugby teammate Stuart Olding walked in while she was being raped and forced her to give him oral sex.

She said a third man, Blane McIlroy from Royal Lodge Road in Belfast, then came in "completely naked" and asked why she wouldn’t have sex with him.

Another friend of theirs, Rory Harrison from Manse Road in Belfast, is accused of trying to cover up what happened.

The woman is giving evidence from behind a large blue curtain with a camera in front of the witness box feeding into a screen beside the dock.

The offences are alleged to have taken place in the early hours of June 28th 2016, and all four deny the charges.

Digital desk

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