Wednesday 12 December 2018

Lawyers argue for rape case against Ireland rugby players Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding to be dropped

Paddy Jackson, left, and Stuart Olding
Paddy Jackson, left, and Stuart Olding

Lawyers for two Ireland and Ulster rugby stars accused of rape are to argue the case should not proceed to trial.

Paddy Jackson, 25, and Stuart Olding, 24, are due before a judge in Belfast for a committal hearing, when a district judge will assess whether the prosecution case is strong enough to return them for Crown Court trial.

The pair deny all allegations against them. They are accused of raping the same woman at a property in south Belfast in June last year.

Olding, of Ardenlee Street, Belfast, is charged with two counts of rape.

Jackson, from Oakleigh Park, Belfast, is accused of one count of rape and one of sexual assault.

Fly-half Jackson has been capped for Ireland 25 times and centre Olding has played four times. They are established stars for Ulster Rugby.

The Irish Rugby Football Union and Ulster Rugby have said they will not play again until court proceedings conclude.

Two other men also face charges connected with the incident.

Blane McIlroy, 25, from Royal Lodge Road, Ballydollaghan, Belfast, is accused of one count of exposure.

Rory Harrison, 25, from Manse Road, Belfast, is charged with perverting the course of justice and withholding information.

All four are due before a district judge in Belfast's Laganside courts on Tuesday morning.

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