Monday 10 December 2018

Semen matching the DNA profile of Stuart Olding found on alleged victim's clothing, court hears

Ireland and Ulster rugby player Stuart Olding Niall Carson/PA Wire
Ireland and Ulster rugby player Stuart Olding Niall Carson/PA Wire
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Semen matching the DNA profile of Ireland and Ulster rugby player Stuart Olding was found on clothing and underwear worn by a woman he is alleged to have raped, a court has heard.

Samples taken from the woman's underwear, jeans and top were examined by a senior forensic officer who was giving evidence to Belfast Crown Court.

Prosecutor Toby Hedworth QC asked: "Were the jeans examined to see if there were traces of semen?"

Confirming they had been tested, the Forensic Service of Northern Ireland officer answered: "The DNA matched that of Stuart Olding."

The jeans were described in notes as "grubby and stained" with blood matching samples from the alleged victim visible on several areas including the thigh, knee and waistband, the forensic officer said.

The woman's blood was also detected on the crotch area of the trousers, the court heard.

Stuart Olding and his Ireland and Ulster team mate Paddy Jackson deny raping the same woman during a house party at Jackson's south Belfast home almost two years ago.

Jackson denies a further charge of sexual assault.

Two other men are also on trial on charges connected to the same alleged incident.

The jury of nine men and three women was shown photographs of the clothing worn by the woman on the night she claims to have been raped, June 28, 2016.

Asked about tests carried out on her underwear, the forensic officer said: "The DNA recovered matched that of Mr Stuart Olding."

Blood from the woman was also visible on sections of the pants, the court heard.

Later, the forensic officer confirmed that Olding's sperm had been detected on the complainant's top.

"DNA from the semen found matched that of Mr Stuart Olding," she added.

The forensic officer also examined internal and external vaginal swabs taken from the complainant 14 hours after the alleged attack - which did not show the presence of semen, the court heard.

However, there was blood matching the alleged victim on the swabs.

A grey and white duvet cover retrieved from Paddy Jackson's bedroom, where the rape is alleged to have happened was also sent for examination.

Mr Hedworth asked: "Was blood staining visible?"

The forensic officer answered: "It was yes."

"Was that tested and found to match the DNA profile of the complainant?" the lawyer continued.

The forensic officer answered: "It was, yes."

Before discharging the jury for the day, Judge Patricia Smyth - who is presiding over the high profile case now in its fourth week - reiterated warnings for jurors not to discuss the case with anyone.

The judge said: "It is your view that counts in this case.

"Please do not discuss evidence with anyone. And, as I have said before, be on your guard."

The case has been adjourned until Thursday.

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