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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. 

Text from complainant to friend on morning of June 28th, 2016
Message from Rory Harrison to complainant sent in the early hours of June 28th shortly after he dropped her home after the incident in Paddy Jackson's house
Text from complainant to friend on morning of June 28th, 2016
Text from complainant to friend on morning of June 28th, 2016
Text from friend to complainant on morning of June 28th, 2016
Text from unidentified person to Stuart Olding asking about night of June 27th and 28th, 2016 and Olding's reply
Messages from Stuart Olding in a WhatsApp group on the morning of June 28th, 2016, and Paddy Jackson's reply
Message from Blane McIlroy to Rory Harrison on morning of June 28th, 2016
Message from complainant to friend on morning of June 28th, 2016.
Message from complainant to Rory Harrison sent on the afternoon of June 28th, 2016
Rory Harrison to Blane McIlroy on the afternoon of June 28th, 2016
Message from unidentified man to WhatsApp group containing Jackson, Olding and McIlroy sent on the afternoon of June 28th, 2016
Message from complainant to friend, asking for a lift to a clinic in Newry
Message from complainant to friend on the afternoon of June 28th, 2016
message from Blane McIlroy to an unidentified friend on the morning of June 30th, shortly after the arrest of Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding
Message from Blane McIlroy to Rory Harrison on June 30th after they learn of Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding's arrests
Rory Harrison's response

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