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Rugby rape trial defence had concerns over 'sympathetic tone' from bench



Stuart Olding

Stuart Olding

Stuart Olding

Barristers acting for Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding complained about the judge's tone and delivery in her legal direction to the jury in day 40 of the trial.

Brendan Kelly QC told Judge Patricia Smyth it was with a "heavy heart" that he raised his concerns and said her "tone" had been more sympathetic in outlining the complainant's evidence than that of the defendants, saying there was a "tone and sympathy" which was not present when dealing with the defendants' cases.

Frank O'Donoghue QC added there was "a difficulty in intonation" and that the judge "sometimes nodded her head" when outlining the complainant's evidence. Rejecting the criticism, Judge Patricia Smyth said she had adjusted the wording of her direction at the request of legal teams and was being "scrupulously careful".

"I am studiously anxious to ensure that the points are made," she had said.

Belfast Telegraph