Sunday 15 December 2019

Rape trial hears recording of Stuart Olding's police interview as juror is discharged

Stuart Olding and Paddy Jackson are accused of raping the woman in June 2016. Both deny the charges.
Stuart Olding and Paddy Jackson are accused of raping the woman in June 2016. Both deny the charges. Newsdesk Newsdesk

A juror in the rape trial of two Ireland and Ulster rugby players has been discharged because of illness.

Addressing the 11 remaining jurors, Judge Patricia Smyth told Belfast Crown Court: "I have received a medical report in respect of the person in your group who was ill and, as a result of the content, I have spoken with him and discharged him from any further involvement in the trial."

The high-profile trial is continuing to hear audio recordings of police interviews with Stuart Olding, 24, from Ardenlee Street in Belfast, who denies one count of rape.

Mr Olding was questioned by detectives at Musgrave PSNI station about the alleged incident in June 2016.

Paddy Jackson, 26, from Oakleigh Park also denies raping the same woman and a further charge of sexual assault.

Two other men charged in connection with the alleged incident also deny the charges against them.

During the police interviews on June 30 2016 - two days after the alleged rape - Mr Olding denied having intercourse with the complainant.

He said: "I didn't penetrate her vagina with my penis at any point."

He also told detectives from the PSNI's rape crime unit that he did not see Mr Jackson penetrate the woman.

"I didn't see that," he said.

During further questioning, Mr Olding added: "I didn't see Paddy penetrating her from behind. He was behind her but I didn't see him penetrating her."

The court also heard that Mr Olding told police Jackson was "sitting on the bed" watching the woman "give" him oral sex.

Mr Olding rejected allegations that he had forced the complainant to perform oral sex.

When asked by police what made him believe she was consenting, Mr Olding answered: "She was doing it. I wasn't forcing her."

Denying applying pressure to the complainant's head, Stuart Olding further stated her hand had been on his penis during the sex act and that she had been "above" him.

Earlier in the taped police interviews, Mr Olding was asked if there had been any discussion the morning after the alleged attack between himself and Mr Jackson about what went on in the bedroom.

He said: "Yes. We just talked about what happened. We were pretty hungover. We were drunk whenever it was happening."

At the end of the interviews, Mr Olding's solicitor Joe Rice said: "You can take it from his attitude that he categorically denies any involvement in these allegations."

PA Media

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