Paddy Jackson's solicitor challenges evidence from three witnesses in rape case

Evidence from three witnesses is to be challenged during the rape case against Ireland and Ulster rugby star Paddy Jackson, his lawyer said.

Paddy Jackson's solicitor challenges evidence from three witnesses in rape case

Evidence from three witnesses is to be challenged during the rape case against Ireland and Ulster rugby star Paddy Jackson, his lawyer said.

A full-day sitting has been scheduled next month for a preliminary review of the charge against Jackson, 25, and co-accused fellow player Stuart Olding, 24.

DVD footage is to be presented to a district judge deciding whether the pair should face trial, a lawyer told a court.

Jackson's solicitor Joe McVeigh told Belfast Magistrates' Court: "Three witnesses are objected to."

He asked that the court hearing on October 17 be ready to watch a DVD as part of the evidence.

The session is designed to test the quality of the evidence against the men and whether there is enough to send them to a higher court for trial.

Lawyers for the accused, who deny all allegations against them, claimed material relating to the case had so far been provided by prosecutors in a "piecemeal" fashion and paperwork was still to be received.

A DVD is planned to be played as part of the case against the sportsmen and two other men connected with the case who are not facing rape charges.

The district judge at Belfast Magistrates' Court confirmed the hearing on October 17 was expected to last a full day.

Olding, of Ardenlee Street, Belfast, is charged with two counts of rape.

Stuart Olding.
Stuart Olding.

Jackson, from Oakleigh Park, Belfast, is accused of one count of rape and one of sexual assault.

The offences are alleged to have been committed against the same woman in Belfast in June 2016.

Fly-half Jackson has been capped for Ireland 25 times and centre Olding has played four times.

They are established stars for Ulster Rugby.

The Irish Rugby Football Union and Ulster Rugby have said Jackson and Olding will not play again until court proceedings conclude.

It is likely both will miss this entire season at least.

Charges against two other men connected with the case have also been lodged with the court.

Blane McIlroy, 25, from Royal Lodge Road, Ballydollaghan, Belfast, is charged with one count of exposure.

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

The case was adjourned until later this month.

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