Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

Ireland rugby Jackson, Olding found not guilty of rape

Ireland and Ulster rugby players Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding Ireland and Ulster rugby players Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding
Ivan Hill | 29 March, 2018, 02:03

A jury at Belfast Crown Court has declared Ireland and Ulster players, Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding "not guilty" of raping a 19 year old student in June 2016.

Jackson was also found not guilty of sexual assault, a charge he also denied.

Blane McIlroy (26) from Royal Lodge Road, Ballydollaghan, Belfast, was accused of one count of exposure, while Rory Harrison (25) from Manse Road, Belfast, was charged with perverting the course of justice and withholding information.

The court was filled with the families and friends of the four men and there were emotional scenes after the unanimous verdicts were announced.

A Rape Crisis Network Ireland spokeswoman said the "protracted" case and its coverage had a "profound impact". In evidence given at the trial, a doctor for the clinic said she presented genital injuries, but they could not say what had caused the injuries.

"It is a new element". In addition to this, she was named on social media sites during the trial contrary to her legal entitlement.

She warned that "any breach of this entitlement is and will be investigated".

Pak news channel's historic move; appoints first transgender anchor
But despite these moves, violence and sexual attacks on trans people are still common in the Muslim country. But there's nothing we can't do; we're educated, have degrees, but no opportunities, no encouragement.


Marianne O'Kane, assistant director and head of the Public Prosecution Service's serious crime unit, said it was "ultimately right" that the case had been brought to trial. "In Ireland, the public are excluded from rape trials".

In court she said: "Rape is a game of power and control".

"I also hope that there will be a continuing conversation about societal attitudes in relation to sexual offences".

"We say that it was his status as a famous sportsman that drove the decision to prosecute in the first place", Jackson's solicitor, Joe McVeigh, said outside the court.

Vile commentary expressed on social media going well beyond fair comment has polluted the sphere of public discourse and raised real concerns about the integrity of the trial process.

I want to start by thanking the judge and jury for their time and patience throughout this long trial.

The Stuart Olding who has been portrayed over the past nine weeks in this trial is not the real Stuart Olding.

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