Northern Ireland

Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding deny rape charges

Stuart Olding and Paddy Jackson
Image caption Mr Olding and Mr Jackson deny the charges

Court proceedings involving rape charges against two Ulster and Ireland rugby players have begun.

Paddy Jackson, 25, and Stuart Olding, 24, have been accused of raping the same woman in Belfast in June 2016.

Both men deny the charges. Stuart Olding is charged with two counts of rape.

Paddy Jackson is charged with one count of rape and one count of sexual assault.

Not in court

Neither player was in court during the short hearing at Belfast Magistrates' Court this morning.

The Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) and Ulster Rugby have said Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding will not play again until the court process concludes.

Both men deny the charges against them.

Two other men have also been charged in connection with the same case.

Blane McIlroy 25, of Royal Lodge Road, Belfast is charged with one count of exposure, and Rory Harrison 25, of Manse Road, Belfast is charged with perverting the course of justice and withholding information.

Both deny the charges against them. Neither was present at the seven-minute hearing

The case will return to court on 6 September.

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