Belfast rape trial: Defence claims woman invented "false memories"

The trial is now in its final stages

Belfast rape trial: Defence claims woman invented "false memories"

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

Updated 12:55

This article contains graphic details which some readers may find distressing

Stuart Olding’s barrister claims the woman who has accused his client of rape has invented “false memories” because she wants to be believed.

The Ireland and Ulster rugby player denies forcing her to perform a sex act on him in the early hours of June 28th 2016.

The trial, now in its eighth week, resumed this morning with Frank O’Donoghue’s closing speech on behalf of his client Stuart Olding.

Mr Olding, who turned 25-years-old this month, is accused of forcing the woman to perform oral sex on him.

She claims he did so after walking in to the bedroom of his friend and rugby teammate Paddy Jackson while he was allegedly raping her.

Mr Jackson also denies the charge, which is alleged to have happened during a party in his south Belfast home.

He has also pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting her.

Barrister Frank O’Donoghue told the jury that his client does not deny the act took place – but he says it was “completely consensual.”

He described the woman’s evidence as “unreliable” and criticised the police for not asking her more detailed questions about the specific allegation against his client.

Questions like how did it start? Why didn't she say no? Why didn't she scream the house down? How long did it last? And how did it come to an end?

He accused her of having no real memory of what happened and of inventing false ones because she wants to be believed.

The trial, now in its eighth week, is in its final stages with all of the evidence already heard.

Last week, the prosecuting barrister addressed the jurors one last time before Paddy Jackson’s barrister did the same.

It is the prosecution’s case that Mr Jackson raped the woman on his bed before Stuart Olding joined in and forced her to perform a sex act on him.

Two of their friends are also on trial.

Blane McIlroy is facing one count of exposure and Rory Harrison denies two charges – perverting the course of justice and withholding information.

The prosecution believe they “circled the wagons” before she went to police and “cooked up a story” to rubbish her claims.

In his final address, Mr Jackson’s barrister accused the complainant of lying.

Mr O’Donoghue was the first of three remaining defence barristers who will make their final pitches to the eleven jurors this week.

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.