Belfast Telegraph

Rugby rape trial: Blane McIlroy denies 'walking into bedroom naked'

WARNING: These reports contain details which some readers might find upsetting

By Ashleigh McDonald

A friend of Irish and Ulster rugby players Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding has denied meeting his co-defendants "to concoct a lying account" of what happened following allegations they were involved in a sex attack.

Blane McIlory took to the witness stand at Belfast Crown Court, where he gave his account of what happened in the bedroom of Jackson's home in the early hours of June 28, 2016.

McIlroy (26) from Royal Lodge Road, has been charged with and denies exposure. Under questioning from his barrister Arthur Harvey QC, McIlroy rejected claims he walked into the bedroom naked and asked the woman to have sex with him.

He also denied pushing his penis in her face, and standing in the doorway to stop her leaving the room.

Instead, McIlroy made the case that any sexual activity was consensual, and came to an end as he couldn't find a condom.

He was also asked about text and WhatsApp messages - specifically a message he posted alongside a picture of himself and three girls who attended an after-party at Jackson's which he captioned 'Love Belfast Sluts.'

Telling the jury of eight men men and three woman he posted the message to a WhatsApp group called 'The Juicers' which consists of friends from America, McIlroy said: "I was just being stupid. It was a foolish comment to make and they obviously weren't."

The jury has already heard evidence from the woman at the centre of the case, who claimed she was raped from behind by Jackson (26) whilst being forced to perform oral sex on Olding (24). She also said that when McIlroy entered the bedroom naked and with his penis in his hand, she said 'how many times does it take for a girl to say no before it sinks in.'

The 21-year old student said at this point, her fight instinct kicked in and she fled the room, and Jackson's house, in a distressed state.

McIlroy was asked about a text he received from the fourth defendant in the case, Rory Harrison, who took the woman home in a taxi and who told his friend McIlroy she was 'in hysterics ... wasn't going to end well'.

When Mc Harvey asked his client "what was your reaction to that?", McIlroy answered: "I didn't, I honestly didn't take it seriously. I saw (the woman) leave and I knew she was not in hysterics."

When asked to describe the mood at the after-party in Jackson's Oakleigh Park home following a night out in the VIP section of Ollie's, the accused said: "It was good fun. Everyone was dancing around and chatting to each other."

McIlroy claimed that around 4am, he and Rory were the only ones left in the living room, as everyone else had either gone home or upstairs. He confirmed he sent a text to Jackson saying 'is there any possibility of a threesome?' which was unanswered.

He said he sat downstairs with Harrison for a while before heading upstairs to go to bed. McIlroy claimed he opened Jackson's door, saw his friend and the woman naked in bed, then sat at the edge of the bed and he said 'what have you two been up to?'

McIlroy claimed the woman then instigated sexual activity by putting her hands down his boxer shorts and masturbating him. He said when he stood up to take his jeans down, she then started performing oral sex on him.

He said she asked if anyone had condoms, he left the room to look, and when he returned to the bedroom, she was getting dressed.

When he was asked "did you force yourself upon her at any stage?", McIlroy replied "no, not at all.'

He also rejected suggested that he, Jackson, Harrison and Olding met at a cafe the next day to "concoct a lying account of what happened."

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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