Ireland rugby pair Paddy Jackson, Stuart Olding cleared of rape

Erica Roy
March 29, 2018

We thank them and Her Honour Judge Smyth, for their time and commitment to what was a lengthy and complex case.

Including the four defendants, a total of 30 witnesses gave evidence during the nine-week trial.

Following the verdict, Paddy Jackson's legal team released a statement slamming the social media conversation that surrounded the trial while now, Stuart Olding's solicitor, Paul Dougan, also read out a statement on behalf of his client.

Ireland's Rape Crisis Network says it will continue to provide support for victims of rape and sexual assault following the unanimous not guilty verdicts in the trial of two rugby worldwide players, Paddy Jackson, and Stuart Olding, and their friends Blane Mcllroy and Rory Harrison.

'I want to acknowledge publicly that although I committed no criminal offence on the evening of June 28, 2016, I regret deeply the events of that evening.

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

The woman contacted Harrison following the alleged incident, saying in a text, "what happened last night was not consensual", Harrison told the jury he did not pass this on to Jackson as he did not believe what she said.

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"My parents for being here every day as well as my brothers and sisters".

"To respect the judicial proceedings the IRFU and Ulster Rugby postponed any internal review of the matter with the players, until the proceedings concluded".

A Rape Crisis Network Ireland spokeswoman said the "protracted" case and its coverage had a "profound impact".

"We wish to acknowledge that this has undoubtedly been a hard and extremely traumatic time for all involved". A person does not have to yell or call out for help. They are not consent. "Anything less is unacceptable".

The court also heard how the sportsmen and their friends exchanged messages about a "merry-go-round" and a "roasting" at the party.

Marianne O'Kane, head of the Northern Ireland Public Prosecution Service's Serious Crime Unit told a news conference that it was in the public interest to prosecute the four men.

Other reports by GlobalViralNews

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