Belfast rape trial: Friend tells court alleged victim "wouldn’t lie to me"

She says she assumed her friend was telling her the truth

Belfast rape trial: Friend tells court alleged victim "wouldn’t lie to me"

General view of Belfast Crown Court. Picture by: Niall Carson/PA Archive/PA Images

This article contains graphic details which some readers may find distressing

A friend of a woman who claims she was raped by two Ireland rugby players has told their trial she “assumed she was telling the truth.”

She is giving evidence in the trial of Ulster teammates Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding - who deny raping the woman at Jackson’s home in June 2016.

This witness was the first person the woman contacted to say she had been raped. She had been out with her the night before.

Under cross-examination, she was asked about some texts they exchanged twelve days beforehand, when they chatted about rape in general.

The friend told the complainant she would not go to the police if she was raped and she was asked why she said that.

She said: “It’s because of what’s happening in this room. It’s daunting, quite horrible and you get blamed. It’s a distressing process.”

She said she assumed her friend was telling her the truth and said: “she wouldn’t lie to me.”

Towards the end of her cross-examination she accepted there was no mention of her friend’s claim that Stuart Olding had forced her to perform oral sex on him.

She also accepted it was her understanding through texts exchanged with her that she was “vaginally raped” by two men.