Jackson and Olding suspension continues pending IRFU review

29 March, 2018, 02:35 | Author: Malcolm Quinn
  • Stuart Olding Paddy Jackson Blane Mc Ilroy and Rory Harrison all deny the charges they face

It was alleged Jackson and Olding raped a 21-year-old student at a house party at Jackson's house on the night of the 28 June, 2016.

While Blane McIlroy had denied a charge of exposure and Rory Harrison had denied perverting the course of justice and withholding information.

Jackson was also found not guilty of sexual assault, a charge he also denied.

It took three hours and 45 minutes of deliberation for the jury to unanimously agree a verdict on all counts.

Stuart Olding leaves court.

He said: "I want to acknowledge the complainant came to court and gave evidence about her perception of those events".

The jurors will now be exempt from jury service for life, the judge telling them it had "probably been the most hard trial that any jury in Northern Ireland has ever been asked to adjudicate on".

'I'm sorry for the hurt that was caused to the complainant.

Under cross-examination, Jackson repeatedly denied he had forced the woman and that she had followed him to his bedroom on two separate occasions for consensual sexual activity. I have consistently told the truth to the police and the court when asked to account for my conduct.

Olding, 25, has also been found not guilty of rape following the conclusion of an eight-week trial.

She said the PSNI "respect" the verdict and warned that they are investigating after the girl was named on social media.

"I'd like to thank my barristers..."

Throughout the hearing all four defendants, dressed in dark suits, shirts and ties sat side by side in the glass dock in the middle of the courtroom number 12, one of the biggest in the Laganside complex.

Jackson's lawyer said that "vile commentary" on social media throughout the trial went well beyond fair comment and raised concerns about the integrity of the trial process.

Two other men were also cleared of related charges by the jury.

The Irish Rugby Football Union and Ulster Rugby have stood the players down since the allegations emerged, and it now remains to be seen if and when they might return to action.



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