Belfast Telegraph

Jackson and Olding trial: I didn’t rape her, upset Paddy told police

by Cate McCurry

Ulster and Ireland rugby star Paddy Jackson said he was “shocked and horrified” by claims he raped a woman in his bedroom after a night out in Belfast, a court has heard.

The 26-year-old told police he had not forced himself on the woman, saying he “strenuously” denied the allegations.

Mr Jackson was arrested after the woman claimed she was raped by him while being made to perform oral sex on his team-mate and friend Stuart Olding (24).

Both men have denied rape, while Mr Jackson denies a further charge of sexual assault. The pair both claim any sexual activity was consensual.

Yesterday for the first time the trial at Belfast Crown Court heard both men’s accounts.

The court heard the transcripts of interviews carried out two days after the alleged attack on the then 19-year-old.

Mr Jackson, from Oakleigh Park, read out a prepared statement at Musgrave PSNI Station in which he said: “I strenuously deny these allegations. I am shocked and horrified these allegations have been made against me.”

He claimed the alleged victim had been flirting with him at his home and followed him upstairs to his bedroom, where he said that sexual activity between the pair was consensual.

The court heard that as the woman’s allegations were put to him by police he became upset, saying: “I didn’t force myself on her.”

Mr Jackson told police: “I presume... it was happening and she wanted it to happen, she didn’t have to stay.

“She could have left if she wanted. But she didn’t.”

Two others, Rory Harrison and Blane McIlroy, are also charged in connection with the incident.

Mr McIlroy (26), from Royal Lodge Road, Belfast, has been charged with, and denies, exposure, while Mr Harrison (25), from Manse Road, Belfast, denies perverting the course of justice and withholding information.

Describing how the night began, Mr Jackson said he and three friends — Mr Olding, Mr McIlroy and Mr Harrison — were drinking and watching football in Cutter’s Wharf in the south of the city before going to Ollie’s, where they spent the night chatting and drinking in the VIP section of the nightclub.

He confirmed that he and his friends and four women went back to his house, where they drank, chatted and listened to music.

Mr Jackson said that he did not know how the alleged victim ended up back at his house, that he had never met her before, and only briefly spoke with her at his home.

Speaking about the alleged victim, he said: “One of the girls was being quite forward with me. She wasn’t really talking much.

“I went upstairs and she followed me. We were sitting on the bed and we started kissing.”  He said that this ended when she asked him if she knew his name, but he didn’t.

He said they returned to the party.

“I noticed she was still looking at me,” he added. “A couple of times she came up and kind of touched me and I think she was flirting with me and I was pretty sure something was going to happen between us.”

Mr Jackson told police when he went back upstairs, she followed him and they “just kind of picked up where we left off”.

He told police that the pair started kissing and she performed oral sex on him for a short time.

“Then the door opened and Stuart came in,” he added.

“He didn’t know we were up there. He walked in and saw what was happening.”

He went on to claim that she stopped performing oral sex on him and then started on Mr Olding.

“I started using my fingers on her and she seemed to be enjoying it. Sorry. I find it awkward talking about it.”

When asked how she seemed when he was using his fingers, he told police she seemed “fine”, adding that it was happening and “she wanted it to happen”.

He told officers that there was little conversation between them during this time.

When a detective constable put the alleged victim’s allegation of him penetrating her from behind, he denied this.

He became upset at this point and the officer asked Mr Jackson if he wanted to take a break.

Mr Jackson was also asked if he noticed blood during the incident. He said he saw a “little bit” on his fingers and a little bit on the sheets, but thought it was “period stuff”.

When asked if she said it was hurting her or whether what was happening could have caused an injury to her, he said: “I don’t remember that. If I did, I would have stopped. I definitely would have stopped.

“I don’t understand. If she was saying this, if she didn’t want to be there, I would never have tried to keep her there. No way.

“I didn’t know she was in pain, if that’s what’s she is saying. If she said that I definitely would have stopped.”

When made aware of her allegation that he tried to put his hand up her, he said: “No, I would never do that. That’s disgusting.”

Mr Jackson was also asked if he saw Mr McIlroy come into his room “completely naked”. He said: “I didn’t see any of that.”

As the police interview was concluding, the detective asked Mr Jackson how he felt about having oral sex, he said: “I felt, I enjoyed having sex, yeah.” When asked if he was surprised by it happening, he replied: “I thought for not talking with someone what she was doing was pretty forward. It just happened.”

The trial continues.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph