Rugby rape trial verdicts: Stuart Olding full statement after acquittal
Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding have been acquitted of rape after a nine-week trail in Belfast. Their friends Blane McIlroy and Rory Harrison were also acquitted over events in Mr Jackson's house on a night in June in 2016. Below is Stuart Olding's statement outside court after he was acquitted of all charges.
Solicitor Paul Dougan read the following statement on behalf of Stuart Olding, who he said was in a “heightened state of emotion” following his acquittal:
“I want to start by thanking the judge and the jury for their time and patience throughout this long trial. I am very relieved that the jury has accepted my explanation as to what occurred.
I want to acknowledge publicly that although I committed no criminal offence on the evening of June 28, 2016, I regret deeply the events of that evening. I want to acknowledge that the complainant came to court and gave evidence about her perception of those events.
I’m sorry for the hurt that was caused to the complainant. It was never my intention to cause any upset to anyone on that night.
I don’t agree with her perception of events and I maintain that everything that happen that evening was consensual. I have consistently told the truth to the police and the court when asked to account for my conduct.
The Stuart Olding that has been portrayed over the past nine weeks in this trial is not the real Stuart Olding.
I’m fiercely proud to represent my province and my country. I have worked very hard to achieve those goals. I hope to be able to prove myself going forward in all aspects of my life. I would like to thank my legal team for their hard work and their belief in my throughout and finally to my family: thank you all for standing by me from the beginning.”
Belfast Telegraph Digital