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Solicitors concerned publicity of accused Ulster Rugby players Jackson and Olding will be prejudicial

By Jonathan Bradley

Published 02/11/2016

Questioned: Stuart Olding
Questioned: Stuart Olding

Solicitors for both Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding have strenuously denied that their clients were involved in any wrongdoing prior to their arrests last June and expressed concern that their names were made public before an investigation was completed.

The pair were questioned by police in relation to an alleged incident at a south Belfast property on June 28.

Jackson is being represented by the largest law firm in Northern Ireland and his solicitor Kevin Winters was first to question whether the publicity generated by the information would be "prejudicial".

"He rejects completely any allegations made against him," said the statement. "Patrick has co-operated fully with police in their inquiries and we have been liaising with police on his behalf.

"We are both disappointed and indeed concerned that this information has been leaked to the press before the investigation has concluded and well in advance of any final decision.

"This has the potential to be prejudicial to our client's interests."

Joe Rice, who is representing Olding, released a similar statement later in the day saying his firm would be taking all necessary steps to uphold the right to a "presumption of innocence".

It said: "We wish to emphasise that he completely rejects any allegations of wrongdoing made against him and is confident his name will be cleared in due course.

"Our client has fully co-operated with the PSNI in their enquiries and is of previous good character.

"It is disappointing that this information has been made public before the police investigation has even been completed.

"We wish to point out that we will take any necessary steps to safeguard our client's legal position and to uphold his right to the presumption of innocence."

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