Belfast Telegraph

Alleged rape victim 'asked Jackson and Olding to fetch condoms'

By Claire O'Boyle

A rugby player accused of rape told police the complainant had asked him and his teammate to go and get condoms during the alleged attack, a court has heard.

Ulster and Ireland player Stuart Olding gave a "very clear account" of the incident in his first police interview, his barrister said yesterday, in which he said the complainant had performed oral sex on him consensually.

Olding (24) denies one allegation of rape. His teammate Paddy Jackson (26) denies rape and a single count of sexual assault. Olding's barrister, Frank O'Donoghue, cross examined a detective from the PSNI's Rape Crisis Unit at Ladas Drive who led Olding's first interview on June 30, 2016.

The officer confirmed Olding co-operated fully and gave an account of his actions to police.

"He said oral sex had lasted for about five minutes," said Mr O'Donoghue.

"He did say she (the complainant) asked them, Mr Jackson and Mr Olding, to go and get condoms?"

The officer said: "I recall that being mentioned."

Mr O'Donoghue also told the court how police had searched Olding's house as he was being questioned at Musgrave Police Station.

But while officers seized clothes from his south Belfast home, they failed to remove the clothes he was wearing on the night of the alleged attack.

"Did the police get Mr Olding's clothes?" he asked the detective.

"I don't know. I can't say if they ever did," the officer replied.

Nor could he say if other items of clothing were taken by police officers.

As the trial at Belfast Crown Court entered its fourth week, Frank O'Donoghue told the jury the complainant had given two contrasting accounts of the alleged attack.

First, said Mr O'Donoghue, she said she wasn't "entirely sure" how the sex act had begun, but that there had been "no conversation" and she did not "have a choice".

The barrister said that later in the interview the complainant, who was aged 19 at the time of the incident, said: "I'm really sure my head was forced down."

"That's two contrasting answers," said Mr O'Donoghue.

"One, not sure, the second, 'I'm really sure it was forced'. And she's unsure of ejaculation. That's the picture on June 30, and the interview finished at 11.49am."

The lawyer went on to explain his client was arrested an hour later at Musgrave Police Station, where he arrived voluntarily.

Mr O'Donoghue questioned the officer over the sequence of events, about when exactly the contents of the complainant's interview had been passed on to PSNI colleagues, and what the "trigger" had been for his client's arrest.

The detective said he assumed his colleagues had spoken following the complainant's initial 'Achieving Best Evidence' (ABE) interview.

The officer, who was tasked with monitoring the alleged victim's initial ABE interview that morning went on to tell the court he was "not trained" in this area and as such could not interject with additional questions.

Blane McIlroy (26) denies exposure and Rory Harrison (25) denies perverting the course of justice and withholding information.

The trial continues.

Belfast Telegraph

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