Belfast trial: ‘We thought it was good what happened’

Court hears Paddy Jackson’s replies to PSNI rape unit officer’s questioning about night

Paddy Jackson arriving at  Laganside Magistrates court. He is charged with one count of rape and one count of sexual assault. Photograph: Pacemaker

Paddy Jackson arriving at Laganside Magistrates court. He is charged with one count of rape and one count of sexual assault. Photograph: Pacemaker

 

Prosecuting barrister Toby Hedworth revisited rugby player Paddy Jackson’s interview with a female detective by reading to the court Jackson’s replies to questions.

“The weird thing was, she instigated it. She was very forward. She was leading me on,” Jackson had said to the officer from the PSNI’s rape unit, as he told his account of the events on the night.

At Ollie’s nightclub, there were “people getting pictures with me – it was just a normal night”, the Ireland and Ulster rugby player had said. He had had “a fair bit” to drink, and more.

Later, he and his friends and the young woman went back to his house. “I wasn’t intending to have any sexual encounters, but obviously if it happened . . .” he had told the detective.

When Jackson was arrested on suspicion of rape and assault, his solicitor first read a statement in which he said, “I strenuously deny these allegations. I am shocked and horrified that these have been made.”

Three of the girls were together. They were “really nice girls”. He wasn’t sure if the fourth girl knew them. She “was being quite forward with me”, he said. He could “feel she was in the corner, staring at me”.

When she walked by him in the living room, “She’d touch me, flirting.” He felt that “she must be interested in me”. He was, by this stage, “drunk but not falling around”. He went up to his bedroom, he said, and she followed him.

“I was maybe hoping she’d come up,” he said. They kissed and it “looked like one thing was leading to another”. After she asked him if he knew her name and he said no, “the vibe changed – it wasn’t going to happen”.

‘Wasn’t aggressive’

He left the bedroom. “It wasn’t aggressive – I just wanted to be back downstairs enjoying myself.” When it was put to him that the young woman had said he tried to undo her trousers, he said, “No, I don’t think so.”

About 10 minutes later, he said he went upstairs again and she followed him. “We were kissing pretty passionately,” he said. “She started kissing my neck. She bit my lip pretty hard.” Was there any injury, the officer asked. “No,” he replied.

Stuart Olding has pleaded not gulity to a charge of rape. Photograph: Pacemaker
Stuart Olding has pleaded not gulity to a charge of rape. Photograph: Pacemaker

Jackson said the young woman was performing oral sex on him when his friend “Stu” came in through the partly open door. The girl could not see Stuart Olding but Jackson “smiled and waved” at him.

The girl started to perform oral sex on Olding, he said, while Jackson “used my fingers on her downstairs region”. Jackson said that nothing was forced on the young woman: “She didn’t have to stay.”

‘Just happened’

He denied penetrating her from behind. He denied he tried to put his whole hand inside her vagina: “No, I would never do that. That’s disgusting.” There was blood on his fingers he said. He thought it was “a bit of period”.

Asked by the detective how he knew she was consenting, he said, “She initiated it at the start – it just happened. I assumed she wanted it.” She had asked if he had a condom but he didn’t, he said. There had been no intercourse. He went back downstairs.

He heard her high heels on the tiles of the hall. He did not talk to her. She looked like she was going home. He assumed she was going to get a taxi. He went to bed. The next day he and Olding had talked about it “but not really”.

“We thought it was good,” he said. “We thought it was good what happened.”