Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding trial: male juror is discharged

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A juror in the rape trial of two Ireland and Ulster rugby players has been discharged because of illness.

Addressing the 11 remaining jurors, Judge Patricia Smyth told Belfast Crown Court: “I have received a medical report in respect of the person in your group who was ill and, as a result of the content, I have spoken with him and discharged him from any further involvement in the trial.”

The high-profile trial is continuing to hear audio recordings of police interviews with Stuart Olding, 24, from Ardenlee Street in Belfast, who denies one count of rape.

Olding was questioned by detectives at Musgrave PSNI station about the alleged incident in June 2016.

Paddy Jackson, 26, from Oakleigh Park also denies raping the same woman and a further charge of sexual assault.

Two other men charged in connection with the alleged incident also deny the charges against them.

During the police interviews on June 30 2016 - two days after the alleged rape - Olding denied having intercourse with the complainant.

He said: “I didn’t penetrate her vagina with my penis at any point.”

He also told detectives from the PSNI’s rape crime unit that he did not see Jackson penetrate the woman.

“I didn’t see that,” he said.

During further questioning, Olding added: “I didn’t see Paddy penetrating her from behind. He was behind her but I didn’t see him penetrating her.”

The court also heard that Olding told police Jackson was “sitting on the bed” watching the woman “give” him oral sex.

Olding rejected allegations that he had forced the complainant to perform oral sex by putting pressure on the back of her head and pulling her on to his penis.

When asked by police what made him believe she was consenting, Olding answered: “She was doing it. I wasn’t forcing her.”