Belfast trial: Blane McIlroy denies woman was ‘in hysterics’

Man accused of exposing himself to a woman directly after she was allegedly raped

Blane McIlroy arrives at Belfast Crown Court where he is on trial accused of one count of exposure. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Blane McIlroy, who is accused of exposing himself to a woman directly after she was allegedly raped, has said he did not take it seriously when told the woman was “in hysterics” afterwards.

Mr McIlroy is alleged to have stood naked in front of the woman and said: "You fucked those guys. Why not me?" directly after Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding allegedly raped her in Mr Jackson's bedroom.

On Wednesday Mr Jackson denied raping the woman. He claimed the 19-year-old Belfast student performed consensual oral sex on him and did not appear distressed at any stage.

On Thursday , Mr Olding also told the jury the woman performed consensual oral sex on him. He said he was embarrassed about texts he sent the next day boasting about the sexual activity but repeated everything that happened that night was consensual.


The jury has previously heard Mr McIlroy (26) told police the woman performed oral sex on him too while she lay naked in the bed beside Mr Jackson.

On Friday morning in the witness box, he repeated this account.

The complainant has said this did not happen and that Mr McIlroy only thrust his penis at her and asked for sex after the alleged rape. Mr Jackson and Mr Olding both said they did not see Mr McIlroy in the room at all.

Mr McIlroy is being questioned by his own counsel, Arthur Harvey QC. Prosecuting counsel Toby Hedworth QC will then have an opportunity to cross-examine him.

Mr Jackson (26), of Oakleigh Park, Belfast has pleaded not guilty to rape and sexual assault in the early hours of June 28th, 2016 at a party in his house. Mr Olding (24), of Ardenlee Street, Belfast, denies one count of rape on the same occasion. Both men contend the activity was consensual.

Mr McIlroy, of Royal Lodge Road, Ballydollaghan, Belfast, has pleaded not guilty to one count of exposure while Rory Harrison (25), from Manse Road, Belfast, pleaded not guilty to perverting the course of justice and withholding information relating to the incident.

Mr McIlroy told his counsel everyone was dancing and chatting to each other at the party that night He said he was chatting to everyone but talking to one of the women, Dara Florence, more than anyone else.

He said he does not recall speaking to the complainant. He also does not recall her paying attention to anyone in particular.

At one stage he became aware Mr Jackson and the complainant were no longer in the living room, he said but he did not see them leave. “When they weren’t downstairs I assumed they must be upstairs.”

He was left in the living room with Mr Harrison, Ms Florence and her friend.

Mr McIlroy said he remembers Ms Florence and her friend getting a taxi home at about 4.30 am. He does not recall them leaving the living room at any stage before this.

When they left he stayed downstairs with Mr Harrison for a while.

He said does not recall texting Mr Jackson: “Is there a possibility of a threesome?”

After a while he went upstairs to go to sleep. He did not receive a reply to his text to Mr Jackson, he told the court.

He went upstairs and opened the door to Mr Jackson’s room where he intended to sleep. He said he was fully clothed at this stage.

He saw Mr Jackson and the woman lying on the bed naked. “I just said I’m sorry and he said it’s okay and I went in.”

They talked and he asked the woman “what have you been up to tonight?”.

She smiled, Mr McIlroy said.

He said he sat on the bed and the woman turned towards him. They were talking and then started kissing. He told Mr Harvey she showed no reluctance and the kissing was mutual.

He denied forcing himself on her and she at no point said stop, he said.

Her hand started “groping” his penis and masturbating him through his trousers, he said. He then pulled his trousers down.

He said she continued to masturbate him before performing oral sex on him. He did not see what Mr Jackson was doing, but made an assumption he was behind her and “using his fingers.”

The oral sex lasted about five or 10 seconds and stopped when she asked him to get condoms, he said.

Mr McIlroy said he went to the living room to ask Mr Harrison for a condom and to an upstairs room to ask Mr Olding but without success.

When Mr McIlroy returned to bedroom the woman looked like she was going to put her clothes on and Mr Jackson was lying on the bed, he said.

He told the woman he could not find a condom and she replied:”It’s fine, I should be going anyway. It’s late.”

He told counsel she also said she “doesn’t normally do one-night-stands”.

He said at no point did he say: “You f**ked those guys. Why not me?” and at no stage did she say, “how many times does it take for a girl to say no.”

He also denied blocking the door, pushing her penis at her or standing at the door masturbating.

He told counsel he never saw Mr Olding in the room.

He said he told her Mr Harrison was getting a taxi and she went down and got a taxi with him. He then sent Mr Harrison a text asking if he was coming back which led Mr Harrison to call him.

“I can’t recall the conversation,” he said.

Mr McIlroy confirmed Mr Harrison had sent him a text saying the woman was “in hysterics” and “it was not going to end well.”

He “didn’t take it seriously” because he saw her when she left the house that night and she was not in hysterics, he said.

Mr McIlroy said he made sure the lights were off before going to sleep in Mr Jackson’s bed.

The next day he exchanged messages with his friends on WhatsApp on a group called “Jacome”.

A friend messaged asking “who are they, brasses?” in reference to a picture of three of the female party guests. The jury has previously heard the word “brasses” means prostitutes.

Mr McIlroy texted back “aye.”

He told counsel the women were very nice and he “didn’t give it much thought” when he responded “aye.”

Asked about the language used in the WhatsApp group, Mr McIlroy told counsel: “It’s pretty stupid and idiotic. I’m not proud of it when you read it back.”

Counsel asked him about a message he sent to a WhatsApp group called “The Juicers”. It was a picture of the three women with the caption “Love Belfast sluts.”

Mr McIlroy said he was “just being stupid” and “they obviously weren’t.”

On June 30th, two days later he received a telephone call from Mr Harrison saying Mr Jackson and Mr Olding had been taken to the police station and that it related to the complainant.

Counsel asked about a text Mr McIlroy sent to Mr Harrison saying: “This is ridiculous. Surely it will all get dropped.”

He said by this stage he knew it related to a “sexual” matter involving the woman.

He said he was “shocked” when he learned this and wanted to make sure his friends had a solicitor.

Later on June 30th, the police called and asked him to come down the station. He told his parents what had happened and his father told him to “just go down and tell the truth”.

His father called a friend to organise a lawyer for him.

Mr McIlroy was arrested for exposure when he went to the police station where he waited for several hours before he was interviewed. He said he never refused to answer a question in his police interview.

He denied suggestions he combined accounts with his co-accused before the interview “in order to concoct a lying account of what happened.”

Counsel asked Mr McIlroy why he deleted text messages sent to his friends in the days after the alleged rape .

“The police phoned me I just panicked, I thought they didn’t read well. In hindsight, I shouldn’t have,” Mr McIlroy replied.

He said he brought his phone to the police station when interviewed and the messages were later recovered.

Mr McIIroy said he did not know why he did not delete the message he sent reading: “pumped a girl with Jacko on Monday. Roasted her...”

He said of the message: “It’s silly boasting, I don’t feel good about it.”

Mr McIlroy was also cross-examined by counsel for Mr Jackson, Brendan Kelly QC, who asked him about the text messages.

Counsel suggested to him that he and his friends tend to joke around and exaggerate things. Mr McIlroy agreed.

“Your close friends might even suggest to you that you talk shite,” counsel said.

Mr McIlroy agreed.

Counsel gave an example of Mr McIlroy confirming to a friend via text that women at the party were prostitutes when they clearly were not. Mr McIlroy agreed this is a good example of “exaggeration” and “banter.”

Mr McIlroy is now being cross-examined by the prosecution.

The trial continues.

Conor Gallagher

Conor Gallagher

Conor Gallagher is Crime and Security Correspondent of The Irish Times