Alleged rape victim accused of alternating between ‘truth, untruth and self-delusion’
Cross-examination of woman finishes after seven days in witness box at Jackson-Olding trial
Paddy Jackson arrives at Belfast Crown Court on Monday. Phtograph: Niall Carson/PA
Stuart Olding arrives at Belfast Crown Court on Monday. Phtograph: Niall Carson/PA
Blane McIlroy arrives at Belfast Crown Court on Monday. Phtograph: Niall Carson/PA
A woman who was allegedly raped by Ireland and Ulster rugby players Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding has been accused of alternating between “truth, untruth and self-delusion,” by one of the accused’s defence counsel.
Arthur Harvey QC also put it to the 21-year-old Belfast student that she regretted a consensual encounter with the men and this is why her account of the incident differed from his clients. Mr Harvey is representing a co-accused in the case, Blaine McIlroy, who is accused of presenting himself naked to the woman after the alleged rape and asking her to have sex with him too.
“Your memory was either clouded by drink or an unwillingness to acknowledge what had happened; that you had sex with a number of men after going back to their house uninvited,” counsel said.
“I completely refute what you’re saying,” she replied.
“You have an easy facility of moving between truth, untruth and self-delusion,” Mr Harvey said.
“You’re calling me deluded?” the woman replied.
“Self delusion, when we prefer a version of events better than reality,” he answered.
“I disagree with you.”
Before the court are Mr Jackson (26), of Oakleigh Park, Belfast who is charged with one count of rape and one count of sexual assault and of Mr Olding (24), of Ardenlee Street, Belfast, who is charged with one count of rape.
Mr McIlroy (26), of Royal Lodge Road, Ballydollaghan, Belfast, is accused of one count of exposure.
Rory Harrison (25), from Manse Road, Belfast, is charged with perverting the course of justice and withholding information.
They all deny the charges with Mr Jackson and Mr Olding contending that the sex was consensual. The offences allegedly happened in the early hours of June 28th, 2016.
Earlier on Monday Mr Harvey took the woman though what he said were several inconsistencies in the various accounts she gave of the incident to friends, doctors and police.
He put it to her that the account she told a medical examiner soon after the alleged rape is different to what she told police later.
A note from the medical exam states she told the doctor Mr McIlroy entered the room and removed his trousers. Her police evidence and her evidence at trial stated he was completely naked.
The woman told Mr Harvey she wasn’t able to process what had happened when the medical exam took place.
“You go into shutdown, its incredibly hard to state what happened until you’ve actually processed it.”
Counsel put it to her she has said this before on several occasions. “It’s almost as if you’re repeating something you’ve read rather than your personal experience.”
She said that was “completely incorrect.”
Mr Harvey asked her: “Why do you always use the impersonal ‘you’ when you say it?”
She replied she did this to try help the people at the trial imagine what it was like to be a rape victim in that situation.
“That’s it exactly. You’re trying to make it applicable to every rape victim,” Mr Harvey said.
“That’s completely incorrect,” she replied.
Earlier, as the woman began her seventh day in the witness box at Laganside Crown Court, Mr Harvey put it to her she was “creating a narrative” to support her case.
He put it to the woman that her memory of the night is very fractured. She accepted her memory was hazy but said there are “parts of the night which are very clear in my mind.”
Counsel said her memory of leaving a nightclub before going back to one of the defendant’s houses is incomplete. The woman replied that she remembers speaking to two women outside the nightclub who asked her back to the house. Counsel said the women claim no such conversation took place.
“They could be just like me. Their memory of the night could be hazy,” the complainant replied.
Creating a narrative
“You’re creating a narrative that you believe serves the case you are trying to make,” counsel said.
“You start off with the fact of the journey to the house, then use that as basis to speculate how that might have been.”
Mr Harvey said: “You have a capacity to start off with a basic fact such as ‘I was in the taxi’ to create a narrative which you believe personally serves the case that you are seeking to make?”
The woman said it was her recollection that she was asked back to the house by the two women.
Meanwhile, the woman was also questioned about comments she made about three girls who had also attended the party in Mr Jackson’s house , as well as her reasons for leaving.
In a text to a friend the morning after the alleged rape, the woman described the girls’ behaviour as “slutty”, the court heard. Mr Harvey said: “Did you tell (your friend) they were behaving in a slutty manner?” The woman answered: “I cannot recall the exact words.”
Mr Harvey said: “Is that what you thought?” The complainant said: “There were a number of reasons.
“Yes, the behaviour is not something that I would have partaken in.”
The defence barrister said: “Being upstairs in a bedroom indicates behaviour that’s more proper than three girls taking selfies. Is that what you are saying?” The woman responded: “Those are not my words. Those are your words.
“I am saying that I didn’t want to take photographs sitting on those guy’s knees.”
The trial continues. Cross-examination of the woman has finished. It is expected she will be briefly re-examined by prosecuting counsel on Tuesday before the trial moves onto other witnesses.