Belfast Telegraph

Jackson and Olding trial: Friend of alleged rape victim tells court 'she would not lie to me'

A court heard on Thursday that a woman who claims she was raped by two Ireland and Ulster rugby players had previously discussed the issue of rape with a friend.

The details emerged during cross-examination of the friend who took the witness stand for a second day at the trial of Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding at Belfast Crown Court.

Defence counsel for Paddy Jackson, Brendan Kelly QC, put it to the female witness that according to text messages sent between her and the alleged rape victim, they had "discussed the issue of rape'' 12 days before they were in Ollies nightclub.

"Do you recall her saying to you 'If I ever get raped I am not going to the police?'', asked Mr Kelly.

The witness replied: "Yeah.''

Mr Kelly: "And you said you would 'deal with the man'.''

Witness:  "Yes.''

Mr Kelly said that the alleged raped victim had texted her to say that "nine out of ten rapes go unreported.''

Witness: "I have heard of people being raped. It's scary.''

Mr Kelly: "And you say (in the text) that "you just got to find a way to blackmail or stab them.''

Witness: "Yes. That was clearly a joke.''

The court heard the alleged raped victim had also discussed "in a humorous way'' of taking up boxing as a form of protection.

Earlier the court heard that the witness had been in the Ollies nightclub with the alleged rape victim on the night of Monday June 27, 2016.

Mr Kelly cross-examined the witness about their night at Ollies and the days after the alleged rape.

She was asked if she believed her friend of 12 years that she had been raped as she had said.

The witness replied: "I presumed she was telling the truth. She wouldn't lie to me.''

She was again shown CCTV footage from inside the bar and VIP area of Ollies just as patrons were being ushered out by security staff around 2 am on June 28, 2016.

She was asked was about the footage showing the alleged rape victim grabbing hold of a man's arm only for him to pull his arm away.

"Was she known for that type of behaviour?'' asked Mr Kelly.

The witness replied: "Not that I would have picked up on.''

Later, the court heard from a counsellor from the Brooke Clinic who initially talked to the alleged rape victim the following morning.

He said that he took a note of what she told him which in summary she had said she had been drinking in Ollie's nightclub until 2am and went back to a house party and remained there for approximately 45 minutes "when the mood changed when one of the men tried to come onto me''.

He also noted that the woman said that after going into a bedroom to get her handbag she was "followed by this man who pushed her onto the bed and sexually assaulted her....And another man came into the room and joined in the sex assault'' before yet a third man "came in and tried to rape her'', but she managed to break free and escape.

And that afterwards she met a man on the stairs who took her home.

Asked by defence counsel Mr Kelly about the noted comment of "no marks of physical violence'', the counsellor agreed that this was in response to a question and not through a physical examination.

Paddy Jackson, 26, from Belfast's Oakleigh Park, is charged with one count of rape and one count of sexual assault.

Stuart Olding, 24, from Ardenlee Street, Belfast, is also charged with rape.

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

Another man has also been charged in connection with the case.

Blane McIlroy, 26, of Royal Lodge Road, Belfast, is charged with one count of exposure.

All four defendants deny the charges.

The trial continues.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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