Tuesday 23 October 2018

Paddy Jackson thanks jury, legal team and family in statement outside court after acquittal

Ireland and Ulster rugby player Paddy Jackson (left) with his solicitor Joe McVeigh outside Belfast Crown Court after he was found not guilty Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Ireland and Ulster rugby player Paddy Jackson (left) with his solicitor Joe McVeigh outside Belfast Crown Court after he was found not guilty Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Ireland and Ulster rugby player Paddy Jackson speaking outside Belfast Crown Court. Niall Carson/PA Wire
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

PADDY Jackson made a short statement outside court after he was acquitted of rape and sexual assault.

He said: "I'd just like to thank the judge and the jury for giving me a fair trial, my parents for being here every day, as well as my brother and sisters."

Jackson also thanked his barristers and solicitors.

"Out of respect for my employers I've nothing further to comment," he said.

His legal representative Joe McVeigh, read a detailed statement, which included criticism of the police investigation and also much of the commentary of the trial on social media.

"Paddy and his parents have paid a heavy price, personally, professionally and financially," Mr McVeigh said.

"This was paid despite the fact that he has never been anything other than entirely innocent."

He referred to "vile commentary expressed on social media" which he said "has polluted this sphere of public discourse and raised real concerns about the integrity of the trial process".

The priority for his client, Paddy Jackson, now is to return to work, he added.

"That means getting back on the rugby pitch," Mr McVeigh said.

Additional reporting by Press Association

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