Belfast Telegraph

Rugby rape trial: Jury sent out to begin deliberations on verdict

By Claire O'Boyle

The jury has been sent out in the high profile rape case of Ulster rugby players Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding.

Judge Patricia Smyth told the panel of eight men and three women that at this stage she will only accept a unanimous verdict, and asked them to put anything they may have heard of a "majority" verdict out of their minds.

The jury began their deliberations at 12.40pm, on their 41st day of the case at Belfast Crown Court.

Jackson (26) from Oakleigh Park, Belfast and Olding (25)  of Ardenlee Street deny raping the same woman at a house in Belfast in June 2016.

Jackson denies a further charge of sexual assault.

Their 26-year-old friend Blane McIlroy of Royal Lodge Road denies one count of exposure while a fourth man, Rory Harrison (25) of Manse Road, denies perverting the course of justice and withholding information.

Thanking the jury panel Ms Smyth added: "Thank you all sincerely for stepping out of your own lives and coming here to give us your time."

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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