Northern Ireland

Rugby rape trial: Jury visits Paddy Jackson's home

Stuart Olding and Paddy Jackson Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Stuart Olding and Paddy Jackson, pictured at an earlier court appearance

The jury in the trial of two Ulster and Ireland rugby players accused of raping a woman have been taken to the scene of the alleged attack.

The nine men and three women were driven, by bus, from Laganside Court Complex to Paddy Jackson's south Belfast home.

Mr Jackson and Stuart Olding deny raping the 21-year-old woman, who was then 19, at a house in June 2016.

The visit came at the end of the second week of the trial in Belfast.

Prior to the visit, jurors were told by Judge Patricia Smyth: "The purpose of this visit is simply so you can see the layout of his house, the size of his house, and the proximity of the rooms in the house."

When they later returned to court, Judge Smyth addressed them again, reminding them not to carry out any research on the trial.

She told the jury: "You are the only people who will hear all the evidence in this case" before urging them not to discuss proceedings with anyone.

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

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

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 previously been told by Judge Smyth to wait until they hear all of the evidence in the case before coming to any final conclusions.

The trial continues.

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