Thursday, 19 July, 2018

Police To Examine Naming Of Belfast Rape Complainant

Blane Mc Ilroy with legal counsel at Laganside Court Blane Mc Ilroy with legal counsel at Laganside Court
Melody Ballard | 29 March, 2018, 02:06

Paddy Jackson, who was acquitted today on a charge of rape at Belfast Crown Court, is grateful to the jury for the "common sense verdict" according to his lawyers.

The Stuart Olding who has been portrayed in the past nine weeks in this trial is not the real Stuart Olding.

Blane McIlroy (26), from Royal Lodge Road denies exposure, while 25-year old Rory Harrison, from Manse Road was charged with perverting the course of justice and withholding information.

Superintendent Hilman noted that the complainant had been named on social media as the trial was ongoing - breaching her legal right to anonymity.

"This has been a protracted sexual crime case with considerable public attention stretching nearly daily over nearly two months".

"A dedicated and specialised team of police officers and staff from the Rape Crime Unit, led by Detective Chief Inspector Zoe McKee, all worked diligently on this case". And I think it's very, very important.

Prosecution barrister QC Toby Hedworth arrives at Laganside Court
Prosecution barrister QC Toby Hedworth arrives at Laganside Court

Olding described a woman he had sex with as "very, very loose" and said he and his friends were "all top shaggers".

The woman testified that she had gone to a nightclub in Belfast before going back to a party at Jackson's home. We understand how hard it can be for someone to report a rape, but let me assure you today that if you choose to speak to police, you will be listened to, respected, treated sensitively, have your report thoroughly investigated, and you will be signposted to support services such as Nexus and Victim Support among others.

The complainant in the trial of Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding is said to be upset at the verdict but has no regrets in taking the case.

Following the verdict, many people announced they would be donating to rape crisis centres in Northern Ireland.

Fly-half Jackson said outside court: "I would like to thank the judge and jury for giving me a fair trial and my parents for being here every day and my brother and sister".

"IRFU and Ulster Rugby officials will review the matter, in line with existing procedures for all contracted players".

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