Northern Ireland

Jackson and Olding rugby rape trial hears text details

Olding Jackson Image copyright PAcemaker
Image caption Ulster rugby players Stuart Olding and Paddy Jackson both deny rape

A young woman who has accused two Ulster rugby players of raping her has been cross-examined by a defence barrister for the first time.

The court heard details of a message she sent to a friend in the hours immediately after the alleged attack.

In it, she explained why she was reluctant to go to the police.

She texted her friend: "Ulster rugby will vouch for their good character and I will just look like a stupid little girl."

Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding deny raping the same woman in a house in south Belfast in June 2016.

At Belfast Crown Court on Thursday the woman was questioned about why she did not tell her friends that another woman had walked into the bedroom during the alleged attack.

She told the court: "When this girl walked into the room, the stage she walked in at, she had already missed the moment these men crossed the line.

"She had not witnessed the blatant disregard for the fact I did not want to have sex."

'Slipped my mind'

Later, the court was told that in her first police interview, the woman did not tell police about the woman who briefly came into the bedroom.

Defence barrister Brendan Kelly QC: asked her: "Why not tell the police about the witness?"

She replied: "It obviously slipped my mind."

She told the court that the "salient" point was the fact she had been raped, and the other person walking in was "secondary".

The alleged attack took place in the early hours of Tuesday 28 June 2016.

The woman, who was 19 at the time, went to the police the next day.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Blaine McIlroy denies a charge of exposure

The court was shown a video interview she did with police on 30 June.

During the hour-long interview, she cried as she outlined details of the alleged attack.

'I didn't want to be there'

At the end of the interview, she was asked if any of the sexual activity that night had been carried out with her consent.

She immediately shook her head and said: "I didn't want to be there."

She added: "There is absolutely no way I had any intention of having sex that night."

Mr Jackson, 26, from Belfast's Oakleigh Park, is charged with one count of rape and one count of sexual assault. He denies the charges.

Mr Olding, 24, from Ardenlee Street, Belfast, is also charged with rape. He too denies the charge.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Rory Harrison has pleaded not guilty to perverting the course of justice

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

Blane McIlroy, 26, of Royal Lodge Road, Belfast, is charged with one count of exposure. He denies the charge.

Rory Harrison, 25, of Manse Road, Belfast is charged with perverting the course of justice and withholding information. He denies the charge.

The 12-person jury has been told by Judge Patricia Smyth to wait until they hear all of the evidence in the case before coming to any final conclusions.