Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding trial: prosecution claims rugby star ‘forced himself on woman’

Paddy Jackson
Paddy Jackson

Irish rugby international Paddy Jackson has rejected suggestions he “forced himself on” then “pushed and pushed” a woman who has accused him of rape.

The 26-year-old, who denies rape and sexual assault, was giving evidence at his trial in Belfast Crown Court.

Prosecutor Toby Hedworth QC said: “I suggest that you forced yourself on her then beckoned your friend Stuart Olding to join in when she made it quite apparent to you that she did not want any sexual activity with anyone.”

Jackson replied: “No, it was quite the opposite.”

The barrister added: “You just pushed and pushed beyond what that young woman was prepared to do.”

Jackson, from Oakleigh Park in Belfast, spent several hours in the witness box of courtroom number 12 in the Laganside complex where the high profile trial has been heard over the past six weeks.

The rape is alleged to have taken place at a party in Jackson’s home during the early hours of June 28, 2016.

The complainant had flirted, following him from room to room and at one point running her fingernails along his arm, Jackson claimed.

He was attracted to her, he admitted.

“We had caught each other’s attention,” he said.

The pair engaged in consensual “passionate” kissing in an upstairs bedroom, but it ended when she realised Jackson did not know her name.

Some time later however, Jackson said she followed him upstairs for a second time.

“I went upstairs, I hoped she would follow and she did,” he said.

Suggesting he had been playing a game of “cat and mouse”, Mr Hedworth said: “How it happened was that young woman went upstairs and you followed?”

“No, I didn’t” Jackson interjected.

You thought she was a bit of a tease?” added Mr Hedworth.

“Did you think this time I am not going to take no for an answer?”

Jackson responded: “No I didn’t.”

Jackson, who has 25 Irish caps, was dressed in grey trousers, a navy jumper and open necked shirt. He was escorted from the dock into the witness box by a prison guard.

He swore an oath on the Bible before answering questions from prosecution and defence counsel.

His parents and other family members, who have supported him every day of the trial, were seated in the front row of the packed public gallery.

Probing for further detail of the alleged sexual activity in the bedroom, Mr Hedworth said: “You inch back, sit down and she takes over?”

“Yes,” answered Jackson.

“She undid your trousers. Pulls your trousers and boxers down to your knees and then she starts to fellate you?”

“Yes,” the defendant said.

The lawyer then asked if the woman appeared to enjoy what was happening, adding: “What was she getting out of it?”

“She did it. She was doing it so she must have,” replied Jackson.

Meanwhile, the court also heard that when his Ireland and Ulster rugby team mate Stuart Olding walked into the room, Jackson, who claims to have been receiving oral sex, waved to say “hi”.

“I didn’t ask him or beckon him into the room. It was just a smile,” he said.

“He walked in but it was not because of me. I do not know the interaction with her.”

Jackson then took his trousers off because he thought the activity was “going to lead somewhere”.

“Probably sex or more sexual activity,” he added.

He touched her with his hands, but did not penetrate her with his penis because no condom could be found, the court was told.

However, Mr Hedworth suggested: “The reality is, I suggest that you then penetrated (the complainant) with your penis?”

Jackson answered: “No, I didn’t.”

Mr Hedworth continued: “From behind, which is exactly what Dara Florence saw when she blurts her way into the room looking for her friend, 100% certain that you are having vaginal sex with the female on the bed.

“You had resisted that temptation with that woman in that position, not to put your penis inside her.

“Nothwithstanding the amount of drink you had taken, you were showing complete restraint?”

“Yes,” Jackson answered.

Pressing further, Mr Hedworth questioned if the complainant had shown any interest in Stuart Olding earlier in the night - either staring, being fixated with or following him, as she is alleged to have done with Jackson.

“Yet, she’s straight away kissing him and performing oral sex?” asked the lawyer.

“Yes,” said Jackson.

After Olding left the room, it was claimed Jackson and the woman lay on the bed together, with Jackson floating in an out of sleep.

He could not remember another friend Blane McIlroy entering the room.

“You apparently fall asleep,” said Mr Hedworth. “You have no consciousness of Mr McIlroy ever coming into the room?”

“No,” said Jackson.

He woke up to find the woman putting her clothes on, but at no point was she distressed, he claimed.

“She wasn’t,” he said.

Later, the court heard Jackson had woken up the following morning “happy”.

He met his friends for lunch and went out drinking again.

“The night happened as it happened and I woke up happy with what had happened,” he said.

“You were happy with a bit of spit roasting?” asked Mr Hedworth.

Jackson replied: “Threesome or spit-roast.”

Jackson understood the slang term “spit roast” to involve a woman and two men, with one receiving oral sex while the other penetrates the woman with either his penis or his hands.

Jackson and Olding, 24, from Ardenlee Street in Belfast, deny raping the same woman. Jackson denies a further count of sexual assault.

Blane McIlroy, 26, from Royal Lodge Road in Belfast, denies exposure while Rory Harrison, 25, from Manse Road in Belfast, denies perverting the course of justice and withholding information.

The case has been adjourned until Thursday.