Rape trial told Paddy Jackson 'a caring and considerate man'
A CLOSE family friend has described Ulster rugby star Paddy Jackson as a "caring and considerate" man.
Dr Katie Donaldson, a registrar in emergency care in a Scottish hospital, was called as a character witness for Jackson during his rape trial at Belfast Crown Court.
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Dr Donaldson told the court that she has known Jackson for some 16 years since he started secondary school with her brother.
She said she has never seen him lose his temper and that they maintained a friendship throughout their years at school and thereafter.
"Paddy was always very considerate in his interactions with other people," she said.
"He is calm, very friendly and enjoys making people laugh. He's a good guy."
She went on to tell the court that she is familiar with Jackson in a personal capacity as well witnessing his interactions with her friends and extended family.
When asked if any of these occasions involved alcohol, she said: "Yes, at time it would included drink.
"There would have been school parties and family gatherings as well."
She went on to tell the court that his character has remained the same since school and that his sporting achievements have been because of his love of the sport.
She went on to say that he was never driven by "privilege" or by "accolades" and that he had a "likeable lack of self-importance" in the time she has known him.
"He has always acted appropriately in our peer group," she added.