Northern Ireland

Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding: Witness 'saw threesome' in bedroom

Stuart Olding and Paddy Jackson Image copyright PACEMAKER
Image caption Both Stuart Olding and Paddy Jackson deny raping the woman

A woman who went into a bedroom at the home of Ulster and Ireland rugby player Paddy Jackson during an alleged rape has said she did not believe what she had witnessed was a rape.

Dara Florence said she saw Mr Jackson, fellow Ulster and Ireland player Stuart Olding and a young woman on the bed.

Afterwards, she said she "kinda laughed" and told a friend she had "just seen a threesome".

Both Mr Jackson and Mr Olding deny raping the woman in June 2016.

The court was told that in a police statement, Ms Florence said: "When I left the room I did not feel as if I had just witnessed a rape."

She said she was in the bedroom for "less than a minute" and then went back downstairs with her friend, Claire Matthews.

Ms Florence told the court that when she went into the bedroom, Mr Jackson was having sex with the woman and he asked her: "Do you want to join in?"

She said "no" and left.

Ms Florence was asked by Mr Jackson's defence barrister, Brendan Kelly QC, if the woman she witnessed seemed "frozen with fear".

She replied: "No."

She was asked if there were any signs of her not consenting to what was going on.

She replied: "No."

Prosecution barrister Toby Hedworth QC later asked her if there were any signs of her positively consenting?

She replied: "No."

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Blane McIlroy denies one count of exposure

Earlier, the two other women who were in the house on the night in question gave evidence, Claire Matthews and Emily Docherty.

They both said they were not in the bedroom where the alleged attack took place.

Also on Tuesday, the court heard that Mr Jackson had denied having sexual intercourse with the alleged victim.

Mr Hedworth told the court that Mr Jackson said he was involved in sexual activity with the woman but it did not involve intercourse.

The woman said that version of events was "incorrect".

The woman said intercourse took place on "more than one occasion".

Mr Hedworth told the court that Mr Olding said the woman had been the "instigator" of sexual activity with him.

In response, she said this was "completely incorrect".

She added: "I didn't instigate anything with Mr Olding."

'Imbecile, monkey-ish'

The woman, who was 19 at the time of the alleged attack, repeated her denial that she had willingly engaged in sexual activity with a friend of the two rugby players, Blane McIlroy, on the night in question.

She told the court: "None of that ever happened, that is absolute lies."

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

The court was told that the morning after the alleged attack, the woman wrote a note on a piece of paper: "Blane. Paddy Jackson. Blonde, short, imbecile, monkey-ish."

Asked what she meant by using the words imbecile and monkey-ish, she replied: "That was my impression of Mr Olding."

She was also asked about her initial reluctance to go to the police the day after the alleged attack by the two rugby players.

She said: "They had the Ulster rugby establishment behind them. You wouldn't just be taking them on, you'd be taking on the whole establishment."

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Rory Harrison denies perverting the course of justice and withholding information

The woman at the centre of the case has now concluded her evidence to the court.

In total, she gave evidence on eight separate days.

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.

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.

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