Belfast Telegraph

Olding, Jackson rape trial: Police spoke to Ulster Rugby boss Kiss before players, court hears

By Cate McCurry

The rape case involving Stuart Olding and Paddy Jackson has heard how police contacted Ulster's former director of rugby Les Kiss following allegations against the two players.

It was the first time the court has heard claims that the PSNI spoke to Ulster Rugby before contacting the defendants. Reference was made to this in a text message sent by Rory Harrison to Blane McIlroy after their friends were arrested two days after the alleged attack at Jackson's Belfast home in June 2016.

Jackson (26), from Oakleigh Park, and Olding (24), from Ardenlee Street, both in Belfast, deny raping the woman in Jackson's bedroom.

Jackson denies a further charge of sexual assault.

Belfast Crown Court heard how, in a series of WhatsApp messages between Harrison (25) and McIlroy (26), the pair discussed the arrests.

McIlroy, from Royal Lodge Road, denies a charge of exposure while Harrison, from Manse Road, denies perverting the course of justice and withholding information.

Prosecution lawyer Toby Hedworth read to the court a series of texts and WhatsApp messages that were sent in the hours and days after the alleged incident.

The court was told that on June 30, while discussing Jackson's and Olding's arrest, Harrison sent a message to McIlroy saying "hopefully it will be thrown out".

In a text message McIlroy sent to Harrison, he said: "Do we know who this girl is. This is ridiculous. Surely it's all just guna (sic) be dropped."

Harrison goes on to describe the alleged victim as a "silly little girl who has done something she has regretted".

Harrison then adds: "She's causing so much bother for the lads."

He later tells McIlroy: "The other thing is the cops went straight to Les Kiss which is f***ing ridiculous."

Blane McIlroy, who denies one count of exposure, said: "Yeah, surely the cops can't disclose that to Les Kiss."

In another message to McIlroy, Harrison mentions Ulster Rugby team coach Bryn Cunningham regarding police contact with Ulster rugby officials.

He said: "When Les rang Jacko (Jackson), Bryn called Stu - just said go to the station."

Belfast Crown Court also heard a series of messages sent hours after the alleged rape on June 28, 2016.

In a number of WhatsApp messages, Olding is asked by a friend at around 10.10am "how was she?"

At 10.57am, Olding replied: "Very, very loose."

In further messages in the WhatsApp group called 'Jacome', a member with the initials AA, asked: "Boys did you spit roast brasses?"

McIlroy responds to this saying: "Legends."

Olding then states: "Why are we all such legends."

McIlroy replied: "I know it's ridiculous."

Then a member with the initials CG asked did "any sluts get f***ed?"

Olding replied: "Precious secrets."

The court heard how Olding later states: "We are all top shaggers.

"There was a bit of spit roasting going on last night fellas."

Jackson replies: "There was a lot of spit roasting last night."

Then Olding states: "It was like a merry-go-round at the carnival."

Another member of the WhatsApp group with the initials JE asks "who? are they brasses?" Jackson replied with a picture of three other girls who were at the house party.

JE responds: "F***ing fantastic."

Another message is sent to the group which says: "Just a sample of how loose Jacome can be."

On the same day at around 1.08pm, McIlroy sent a picture to a separate WhatsApp group entitled 'Juicers' of himself sitting on a sofa at Jackson's house with the three other women at the party with the caption 'love Belfast sluts'.

In another message McIlroy sent to a friend, he said: "I pumped a bird with Jacko on Monday - roasted her."

In further messages sent on June 30, Harrison tells McIlroy that police came to his home to ask for a statement.

McIlroy also asks: "Did Paddy and Stu have a lawyer and stuff.

"Does his parents know?"

Harrison responded: "I've no idea. If not my dad will know exactly who to go to."

He also stated that his father did not say much about what coul d happen to Olding and Jackson, adding: "Could get thrown out. He (father) said very significant because your one followed Jacko up the stairs."

Some time later, police contacted McIlroy asking him to attend Musgrave police station.

McIlroy told Harrison this by a text, and Harrison replied: "I'd say leave your phone at home."

The court heard further evidence of texts sent between the complainant and a friend in which the alleged victim was asked if she told the men to "stop". The alleged victim responded: "Of course. They were too strong."

The trial continues.

Belfast Telegraph

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