The text exchanges revealed at the Belfast rape trial

Defence team said messages were banter while prosecution said they showed lack of respect for women

Text exchanges between the four men acquitted on Wednesday were one of the key features of the prosecution case in the Belfast rape trial.

The four men, Paddy Jackson, Stuart Olding, Blane McIlroy and Rory Harrison, were acquitted of all charges following less than four hours of jury deliberations.

During the trial, the prosecution concluded its case by reading the texts exchanged between the men on and after June 28th, 2016, some of which had been deleted and later recovered. For the prosecution, these were evidence of a complete lack of respect for women, while the defence teams argued the texts were banter and immature boasting, the words of young men who were egging each other on and had no evidential value.

The incident at the centre of the case took place at a party in Jackson’s house in the early hours of June 28th, 2016.


Other text exchanges involving the complainant, then a 19-year-old student, were also heard in court.

Here is a selection of the messages sent between June 28th and June 30th, 2016.