Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding trial: Rugby player horrified by accusations, court told

Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding
Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding

An Ireland international rugby player said he was horrified to be accused of rape and told police he had not forced himself on a woman following a night out.

Paddy Jackson, who also plays for Ulster, was shocked to hear the allegations against him, a court heard.

In his first statement to police two days after the alleged rape in June 2016, Jackson told an officer: “I strenuously deny these allegations.

“I am shocked and horrified that these allegations have been made against me.”

He had been drinking and watching football at Cutter’s Wharf in Belfast before going to Ollie’s nightclub in the city with friends, the court heard.

Jackson, 26, from Oakleigh Park in Belfast, and rugby teammate Stuart Olding, 24, from Ardenlee Street in the city, deny raping the same woman at a house in south Belfast in the early hours of June 28.

Jackson was interviewed about the incident on June 30, and told police he felt it had been a “good” experience to have oral sex with the same person as Olding, the jury heard as transcripts were read to the court.

Jackson, who said he found the incident awkward to talk about, believed the woman had been flirtatious towards him, the court heard.

He told police: “I think she was flirting with me and I was pretty sure that something was going to happen between us.”

He said the sexual activity happened after the complainant, who cannot be named for legal reasons, followed him to his room for a second time that night.

The pair had earlier shared a consensual kiss, but when he admitted to the alleged victim that he did not know her name they left the room and returned downstairs, he said.

He said they “just kind of picked up where we left off” when they returned to his room later, kissing and touching before she began performing oral sex on him.

Olding then came into the room and got onto the bed too and the woman performed oral sex on him, Jackson said.

At this point, Jackson began using his fingers on the woman, he said.

Asked by the officer how the woman seemed, he said: “Fine, I didn’t force myself on her so I presumed it was happening and she wanted it to happen. She could have left if she wanted to, but she didn’t.”

He said he had seen some blood on his fingers and on the sheets.

In the complainant’s police interview, which the trial has already heard, she alleged the sexual activity had been rough and she bled.

Asked if he thought it might be hurting her, Jackson said: “If it did, I would’ve stopped, I definitely would’ve stopped.”

He added: “If she didn’t want to be there I would never have stopped her (leaving) or tried to keep her there. No way.”

He denied penetrating her with his penis.

Asked how he had felt after the experience, he said: “Well, it sounds stupid cause we’re here now but obviously like we thought it was good if you know what I mean.”

Asked how he felt about both he and Olding having oral sex with the same girl, he said: “Yeah, it felt good, I enjoyed having sex, you know.”

Jackson, wearing a white open-necked shirt, sat in the dock of Belfast Crown Court alongside his three co-accused, as the transcripts were read.

Olding, in a recording of his police interview played to the court, said, the complainant had “hinted” at him to stay when he entered the room.

Asked to explain how, the 24-year-old said: “She held her hand out.”

He denied raping her and said there had been no conversation between the three of them other than for Jackson to answer “no” when she asked if they had any condoms.

Blane McIlroy, 26, from Royal Lodge Road, Ballydollaghan, Belfast, has pleaded not guilty to one count of exposure, while Rory Harrison, 25, from Manse Road, Belfast, denies perverting the course of justice and withholding information.

Jackson denies a further charge of sexual assault.

The trial, which is now expected to run until mid-March, has been adjourned until Monday.