Alleged rape victim tells Jackson and Olding trial she was handled like piece of meat

Woman also told trial the alleged assault by Ireland rugby players lasted ‘an eternity’

Stuart Olding (left) and Paddy Jackson arrive at Belfast Crown Court. File photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Stuart Olding (left) and Paddy Jackson arrive at Belfast Crown Court. File photograph: Niall Carson/PA

 

A Belfast student who alleges she was raped by Ireland and Ulster players Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding told Belfast Crown Court on Wednesday she was handled like a piece of meat.

She also said that the alleged assault lasted “an eternity”.

The 21-year-old complainant was giving evidence for the fifth day in the rape trial which is expected to last five weeks.

Mr Jackson and Mr Olding are on trial for the alleged rape of the student at Mr Jackson’s home in east Belfast on June 28th 2016.

The court had heard that on the morning of the alleged rapes the complainant consensually kissed Mr Jackson in his bedroom in a move instigated by the rugby player. It is alleged that when the complainant subsequently went to Mr Jackson’s bedroom to retrieve her clutch bag which she had left in the room that she was raped by Mr Jackson and Mr Olding.

Brendan Kelly, QC for Mr Jackson, in cross examining the witness asked how long she was in the room on the occasion of the alleged rape.

“I have absolutely no idea,” she said. The witness briefly paused and then added: “An eternity.”

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.

Blane 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.

Mr Kelly estimated that the alleged assault could have lasted one hour and ten minutes. The witness repeated that she did not know “how long I was in that bedroom”.

She told the court that there were times during the alleged rapes when “I did not even know what was being done to me”.

During cross examination, Mr Kelly put it to the witness: “You were petrified that either the rumour or the proof of this sexual activity would find its way to your friends.

“That’s what drove you on as far as running with this lie, is it not?”

The woman responded: “No, this is not a lie, Mr Kelly.”

The woman was also questioned about comments she made to one of the defendants in the aftermath of the attack, in which she is claimed to have said “this does not happen to a girl like me”.

Mr Kelly asked: “What doesn’t happen to a girl like you? “Rape, as far as we know, can happen to any girl.” The woman replied: “Yes, it can and it happened to me.”

The lawyer further suggested: “What might not happen to girls like you is that you are witnessed in group sexual activity?”

The complainant answered: “Mr Kelly, again I was raped. It was not consensual group activity at all.”

Mr Kelly put it to her that she engaged in group sex because she was in an intoxicated and excited state.

“I completely reject that,” she replied. She said the sex was against her will. “I was raped; I don’t think I can make myself much clearer,” she added.

Clothing

Earlier, the court was shown clothing, including underwear worn by the woman on the night she alleges she was attacked, June 28th, 2016. Underwear, white trousers and black sequinned top were removed from brown envelopes and shown to the complainant, judge and jury.

Mr Kelly questioned the complainant about blood stains on her trousers and pants. He put it to her that it wasn’t because of the rape but that she actually was bleeding before the alleged assault.

“That is completely incorrect,” she said. “I completely reject that.”

She added that a doctor who examined her after that attack already had confirmed that she suffered an “internal tear” in the attack. She said what caused her to bleed was the manner in which Mr Jackson allegedly assaulted her.

Mr Kelly also referred to the morning after the alleged rape when she informed one of her friends of being raped and that she texted “So I got raped” followed by five upside down emoji smiling faces.

Asked why she used these emojis she said, “What way are you supposed to say I have been raped?”

She also used the “lol” reference – “laugh out loud” — in one of the texts the following morning when responding to Rory Harrison who had brought her home in a taxi after the alleged rape. Asked why she used “lol” she said it was a phrase that was thrown about. It should not be taken as laugh out loud in the alleged rape situation, she said.

Mr Kelly concluded his cross examination of the witness before lunch on Wednesday.

‘Handled like a piece of meat’

Under cross-examination by Frank O’Donoghue, QC for Mr Olding, on Wednesday afternoon the lawyer referred to how when she spoke to a doctor at the Rowan sexual assault referral centre in Antrim after the alleged rapes she did not say she was forced to perform oral sex on Mr Olding.

Mr O’Donoghue also referred to how when speaking to the doctor at the Rowan she alleged Mr Olding had vaginally rather than orally raped her, even though he is not charged with vaginal rape.

The complainant said it should not be under-estimated that when she underwent the medical examination at the Rowan she had not slept for 30 hours and that she was in an emotional state.

The complainant also told the court that on the morning after the rape she had assumed she was vaginally raped by both Mr Jackson and Mr Olding. She said at stages of the assaults both men were behind her where she could not see them.

She said she could not remember if she informed close friends the day after the alleged assaults that she was forced to perform oral sex on Mr Olding.

Asked if Mr Jackson and Mr Olding kissed her on the neck during the alleged rape she said she was not sure where they touched her. “I was handled like a piece of meat; there was not one part of my body that hadn’t been touched. I can’t recall if I was kissed or not,” she said.

Mr O’Donoghue asked her if she was exaggerating her emotional state during the Rowan examination as “an explanation for giving an utterly inconsistent account” of what happened her.

“Absolutely not,” she replied. “You underestimate the state of shock you go into after being raped,” she added. It was not a question of “inventing details”, she said.

Mr O’Donoghue also queried how she managed to identify Mr Olding when she did not know him when she was assaulted. She said she thought he was a rugby player by his build and she thought the morning after the alleged rapes she identified him as Mr Olding through checking photographs on the internet, perhaps through Facebook.

Asked why in two police interviews she had not mentioned, as she had earlier told the court, that she was instructed to take off her top during the alleged assaults she said, “It was not something I left out intentionally.”

Mr O’Donoghue said his client Mr Olding was saying the sex was consensual. He said that Mr Olding when he entered Mr Jackson’s bedroom was planning to “crash out” for the night.

“If he came to crash out why then did he rape me?” she responded. His was “not the actions of someone about to crash out”, she added.

Mr O’Donoghue put it to the complainant that she “beckoned him to stay” in the bedroom and “quite voluntarily and quite consensually” performed oral sex on him.

“I completely refute everything you have just said,” said the complainant.

Mistakes

Judge Patricia Smyth at the start of the hearing on Wednesday told the jury there were mistakes and misrepresentations in certain media reports about the case. She also referred to some members of the public sharing their views about the case on social media. She warned against paying any attention to such “fireside lawyers” who didn’t know anything or knew very little or were misinformed about the case.

She repeated it was for the jury based only on what they heard and saw in court to decide the case and that they must pay no attention to and ignore media, social media reports and commentary.

The trial resumes on Thursday.