Wednesday 22 August 2018

'Complete fantasy island' - McIlroy denies 'he got lines wrong in a false story' at rugby rape trial

Blane McIlroy arrives at Belfast Crown Court where he is on trial accused of one count of exposure, in connection with an incident in which two Ireland and Ulster rugby stars are accused of raping a woman at a property in south Belfast in June 2016. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Blane McIlroy arrives at Belfast Crown Court where he is on trial accused of one count of exposure, in connection with an incident in which two Ireland and Ulster rugby stars are accused of raping a woman at a property in south Belfast in June 2016. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Eimear Cotter

A CLOSE friend of Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding has denied that he got his “lines” wrong in a false story that they concocted in the hours after a student accused the rugby players of rape.

Blane McIlroy (26), who is accused of exposing himself to the same student, also denied that his version of what happened was “preposterous”.

Stuart Olding outside Belfast Crown Court. Photo: PA
Stuart Olding outside Belfast Crown Court. Photo: PA

Prosecution lawyer Toby Hedworth QC put it to him that what he thought was meant to be his version was in actual fact Mr Olding’s “false version of events”.

Mr Hedworth asked: “Do you have any idea how preposterous your account of all this is?”

He also told him that this “put-up job” was “falling apart at the seams”. Mr McIlroy replied: “I went to the police and told them the truth.”

In his evidence, Mr McIlroy told Belfast Crown Court that he walked into Mr Jackson’s bedroom and saw him and the alleged victim lying naked on the bed.

Paddy Jackson arrives at Belfast Crown Court. Photo: PA
Paddy Jackson arrives at Belfast Crown Court. Photo: PA

He went to leave, but Mr Jackson said it was fine so he went in and started talking to them. He said: “Oh, what have you two been up to tonight?”

Mr McIlroy claimed the woman “smiled” and he sat down on the bed beside her and they started kissing. He said that the kissing was mutual.

He claims the woman’s left hand went down the waistband of his boxers and into his trousers and she then started masturbating him.

Mr McIlroy stood up and loosened his trousers and he claimed that the woman started performing a sex act on him.

Mr McIlroy said that at no stage did he see Mr Olding in the bedroom.

Led through his evidence by his lawyer Arthur Harvey QC, Mr McIlroy denied saying to the woman: “You f **ked those guys, why not me?”

Asked whether he tried to block her exit from the bedroom, he replied: “No, I didn’t.” Did he try to push his penis into her mouth: “No, I didn’t”, he said.

He also denied that he stood at the entrance to the bedroom and masturbated. He said the reason the sex act stopped was because she asked to get a condom. He tried to find a condom, couldn’t and when he returned to the bedroom the young woman was getting dressed.

Mr McIlroy told the jury that the woman said: “It’s fine, I should go, it’s late, I don’t usually have a one-night stand.”

She then left in a taxi with Rory Harrison. In his cross-examination, Mr Hedworth suggested Mr McIlroy’s account was “complete fantasy island”.

“No, it’s not,” Mr McIlroy replied.

Mr Jackson (26), of Oakleigh Park, Belfast, has pleaded not guilty to rape and sexual assault at a party in his house in the early hours of June 28, 2016.

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 Mr Harrison (25), from Manse Road, Belfast, has pleaded not guilty to perverting the course of justice and withholding information relating to the incident.

The trial continues.

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