Monday 18 June 2018

Nicola Anderson at rugby rape trial: Alleged victim questioned over fake tan stains

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

Nicola Anderson

‘I was handled like a piece of meat,” the young woman told the barrister in slow succinct tones.

“There wasn’t one bit of my body that hadn’t been touched,” she said, adding in reply to his question that she did not know if she had been kissed or not during the alleged attack upon her.

In court for the fifth day giving her evidence, barristers for Ireland rugby internationals Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding were endeavouring to clarify her version of what happened that night.

But this was not always possible. Some details she just cannot recall, she explained to the court.

Put to her that she had “invented” details of the alleged attack in her account to the Rowan clinic, which deals with victims of sexual assault, the woman said she had not. She also denied that she was “exaggerating” the state she had been in at the time as an explanation for giving an “inadequate” account.

“Absolutely not,” she said, explaining to Frank O’Donoghue, QC for Stuart Olding, that in a situation like that you go into “total shock”.

Stuart Olding. Photo: PA
Stuart Olding. Photo: PA

“You’re trying so hard to process what happened to you,” she explained, adding: “It’s not about inventing at all.”

Earlier, Brendan Kelly, QC for Paddy Jackson, had put it to her that the sexual activity in which had engaged that night had been of her own choice while “in an intoxicated and excited state”. Her chief concern was that it would end up on social media and that’s what had driven her on to “running with this lie”, he claimed.

Again, the young woman was slow and deliberately measured in her words.

“No, this is not a lie, Mr Kelly,” she said.

Without question, the most difficult part of the day was the production and scrutiny in court of the clothes she had worn that night in an effort to ascertain traces of fake tan and blood staining.

The young woman had sent a text to a friend the next morning saying that she had not shaved her legs and had only tanned the bottom of them and so was not “up for anything”.

From brown paper evidence bags were produced the white trousers and the black sparkly top she had worn.

It appeared that it affected her to see them again but she maintained her composure.

Mr Kelly pointed out evidence of fake tan staining on both – but the young woman said she had also tanned a small area of flesh which would have been shown in a slit in the top at the back.

“The point I was making is that I had not tanned my whole body – it was patchy,” she told him.

“It looks ridiculous if you haven’t tanned your whole body.”

From another bag were produced the underwear she had worn that night.

The young woman’s colour rose as they were displayed, as discreetly as possible on top of the brown paper bag, to judge and jury by the court usher wearing blue latex gloves.

Mr Kelly inquired why they had been stained with blood if she had not put them on again after the alleged attack.

“Because I wiped myself. I was aware I was bleeding,” she said quietly.

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