Sunday 18 March 2018

'I thought she was upset because Paddy rejected her' - court told

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

Ashleigh McDonald

A friend of two rugby players accused of rape told Belfast Crown Court yesterday that Paddy Jackson would be the "last person in the world" to rape someone.

Rory Harrison (25), of Manse Road, Belfast, has been charged with, and denies, perverting the course of justice and withholding information in the aftermath of an alleged sex attack in the bedroom of Mr Jackson's Belfast home.

Mr Harrison also said in evidence he believed the complainant was upset "because Paddy had rejected her".

He was questioned by his barrister, Gavan Duffy QC, about his account of events in June 2016. It was Mr Harrison who brought the complainant by taxi from the after-party at Paddy Jackson's house to her home.

He said in his evidence that at the end of the night he saw the woman downstairs in Paddy Jackson's house and "she seemed a little bit upset".

He added: "I told her I would bring her home and she agreed." They went outside to try to flag down a taxi. He said that by this stage she was more upset and was "crying".

The next day she sent him a message saying: "I know you must be mates with those guys, but I don't like them. And what happened was not consensual which is why I was so upset."

Mr Harrison said he did not take the message seriously. Although he was shocked initially, he did not believe it.

"The more I thought about it, I have known Patrick since I was eight or nine, he is the last person in the world to rape someone. I didn't believe it. I thought she had maybe done something and then regretted it."

Sunday Independent

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