Belfast rape trial: Barrister says woman's claims "flawed by inconsistencies and by untruth"

Legal teams have been making their closing arguments

Belfast rape trial: Barrister says woman's claims "flawed by inconsistencies and by untruth"

Top left Paddy Jackson, top right Stuart Olding, bottom left Rory Harrison, bottom right Blane McIlroy. Images: Niall Carson/PA Wire/PA Images

This article contains graphic details which some readers may find distressing

Paddy Jackson’s barrister has claimed the woman who accused him of raping her went into “lie mode” to derail a rumour about her having a threesome.

The Ireland and Ulster rugby player denies raping and sexually assaulting the woman at a party in his Belfast home in the early hours of June 28th 2016.

He is accused of raping the woman before his Ireland and Ulster teammate Stuart Olding allegedly forced her to perform oral sex on him.

He admits engaging in certain sexual activity with the then 19-year-old student but claims it was consensual and denies having intercourse with her.

Their friend Blane McIlory is accused of exposing himself to her and another friend, Rory Harrison, denies trying to cover up what happened.

Defence

In his closing address this afternoon, Mr Jackson’s barrister Brendan Kelly told the jurors they must be convinced of guilt before they can convict.

He described the woman’s evidence as “flawed” – flawed by inconsistencies and by untruth. He said consistency is the hallmark of truth. Liars deviate.

He asked them not to try the case on any emotion or sympathy.

He accused the complainant of “over-egging the pudding” and “trying to paint a dark picture” of his client.

He described a claim there must have been sexual intercourse because she got the morning-after pill as “nonsense” and suggested she only took it to back up the lie.

It is not a “slam dunk,” he said. She thought “My God, this could end up on social media and if it gets out, I’m ruined.”

Prosecution

This morning, prosecuting barrister Toby Hedworth asked the jurors to consider what the woman had to gain if she made it all up.

He reminded the jury that "the law of this land is that a young woman is allowed to say no".

He claimed what happened in Paddy Jackson's bedroom in June 2016 was a throwback to the days of male entitlement.

He questioned why the woman would put herself through the indignation of a physical examination, of going to police and of coming to court day after day to relive such a distressing event ... “unless”, he said, “she’s telling you the truth.”

He it doesn’t matter where the men went to school, what junior team they played rugby for or their level of success.

“It matters not whether you’re a prince or pauper,” he said.

He told the jurors it was up to them to decide whether the four friends were indeed “legends” - before inviting them to find each of them guilty.

If you have been affected by anything mentioned in this article you can contact the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre National 24-Hour helpline on 1800 77 88 88.