Belfast Telegraph

Rugby rape trial juror won't face court over online comments

Paddy Jackson (left) and Stuart Olding were both acquitted (Niall Carson/PA)
Paddy Jackson (left) and Stuart Olding were both acquitted (Niall Carson/PA)

A juror in the high-profile rugby rape trial involving former Ulster rugby players Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding will not face charges over comments posted online, it has been confirmed.

In March, after both Mr Jackson and Olding were acquitted of all charges, comments appeared online reportedly made by a juror about the trial on an Irish web forum.

The matter was referred to the office of the Lord Chief Justice, who in turn referred the matter to the office of Northern Ireland's attorney general John Larkin QC.

It has now emerged - first reported by the Irish Times - and confirmed to the Belfast Telegraph, that the juror in question will not face prosecution.

A spokesperson fro the Office of the Lord Chief Justice said: "I can confirm that the Lord Chief Justice’s Office has received a letter from the Office of the Attorney General for Northern Ireland confirming that the Attorney has decided not to institute proceedings for contempt against the juror."

The Attorney General's Office said it had no further comment to make when contacted by the Belfast Telegraph.

On Wednesday, Sean McFarland, of Rinnalea Gardens in Belfast, who published the name of the woman at the centre of the trial, was fined £300. He pleaded guilty to breaching a lifetime ban on reporting the identity of the complainant in the case.

He was the first person in Northern Ireland to be prosecuted for the offence.

Belfast Telegraph Digital


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