Belfast Telegraph

Woman who accused rugby star Paddy Jackson of rape ‘fixated with him’

The 26-year-old, from Oakleigh Park in Belfast, denies raping the woman in June 2016.

A woman who accused Irish rugby international Paddy Jackson of rape was “fixated” with him, his friend said.

The alleged victim was staring at him and followed five minutes after he disappeared to his bedroom after a Belfast house party, a statement from Rory Harrison said.

Jackson, 26, from Oakleigh Park in Belfast, denies raping the woman in June 2016.

He also denies a further charge of sexual assault.

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Rugby players court case

Harrison’s statement said the alleged victim “appeared to be staring at and fixated with Paddy”.

He said she “did not appear to take her eyes off Paddy”.

His statement to a Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) detective was read out during a trial at Belfast Crown Court.

Stuart Olding, 24, from Ardenlee Street in Belfast, also denies raping the same woman.

Two others have been charged in connection with the same alleged incident.

Blane McIlroy, 26, from Royal Lodge Road, Ballydollaghan, Belfast, denies exposure.

Harrison, 25, from Manse Road in Belfast, denies perverting the course of justice and withholding information.

Harrison’s statement said he did not notice anything out of the ordinary about the alleged victim.

He told police he saw the woman standing outside a bedroom at Jackson’s house in Belfast but was not sure what she was wearing.

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Rugby players court case

They had been having a party downstairs and Harrison said she had disappeared upstairs five minutes after Jackson went up.

Harrison’s statement said he went upstairs to say goodbye to Jackson and Olding and saw the alleged victim standing outside a bedroom.

Harrison told police: “I did not notice anything out of the ordinary.”

He said Jackson was lying on his bed half awake and said he would see him later.

He said Olding was with a female, both were asleep and lying on a sofa fully clothed.

Harrison was in the living room when the alleged victim came in.

His statement said: “

She appeared upset and quiet. I asked her if she was OK and she just sat there and did not respond. Rory Harrison

He took her home in a taxi, they sat in the back seat and there was no real conversation, his statement added.

“She kept crying into herself and appeared to be unsettled.”

He said he did not notice anything peculiar about her appearance.

“I gave her a hug and got back into the taxi. I then went to bed.”

He said they met up the following day at the Soul Food eatery in Belfast but just talked about the South Africa rugby tour which Jackson had recently returned from, rather than what happened the previous night.

Previous hearings of the court case have been told alleged details of WhatsApp messenger conversations about the night in question.

On Friday the court was also told that a detective involved in the investigation was not made aware at an initial briefing that a woman, Dara Florence, walked into the bedroom when the alleged rape happened.

Earlier hearings have been told she thought a threesome was taking place.

Another detective said he was asked to quiz Ms Florence for a second time after she alleged she heard noises, characterised by a barrister as moaning not screaming.

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