Belfast rape trial: What Stuart Olding says

Newstalk's Frank Greaney sums up the evidence

Belfast rape trial: What Stuart Olding says

Stuart Olding arriving at Langanside Courts in Belfast | Image: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

Stuart Olding took the stand on March 8th.

His defence barrister Frank O'Donoghue QC told the jurors his client was initially charged with vaginal rape but that it was dropped before Christmas 2017 and he's now facing a charge of oral rape.

The woman claims he walked in while she was being raped by Paddy Jackson and that despite her plea to Mr Jackson he joined in and forced her to perform oral sex on him.

He doesn't deny that she performed the sex act on him but he claims it was consensual.

Mr Olding said he had also just returned from the tour of South Africa with the Ireland rugby team and that he was "delighted and in a good place" because he had picked up two caps on tour and really thought his international career was going to progress from there.

He said he consumed "eight tins of Carlsberg" in Blane McIlroy's house before they went to Cutters Wharf pub where he had four pints of Guinness and two gin G&Ts.

In Ollie's nightclub, he said he had five vodka lemonades and a few shots. He accepted he was "pretty drunk" but he said he was coherent and was aware of his whereabouts. "I was happy and enjoying myself and having a good time," he said.

Outside Ollie's nightclub in Belfast | Image: Frank Greaney

Back at Paddy's house, he said one beer and was feeling relaxed. He said he brought one of the girls to the upstairs den to lie down on a sofa because she wasn't feeling well but he said nothing sexual happened between them and he stayed with her until she fell asleep before he went back downstairs to rejoin the party.

At some point, he said he decided to go upstairs with the intention of going into Paddy's room to go to bed. When he got there, he said the door was closed so he opened it and walked in.

"I saw Paddy lying on his back and she was on top of him. They were kissing. She was fully clothed. I felt I had just intruded on two people kissing on a bed so I turned to leave but she held out her hand as an invitation to stay," he said.

Outside Oakleigh Park in Belfast, where Paddy Jackson's house is located | Image: Frank Greaney

"I closed the door behind me, walked around to the far side of the bed and began to kiss her. It just happened. She was on her back and I was bent over kissing her open mouth with tongue.

"I lay down on the bed with my head up at the pillows and she was kneeling over me. My jeans came undone but I'm not sure how, and then oral sex happened".

Mr Olding denied forcing her to do it and said she showed no signs of distress.

He said she stopped a few times but resumed on each occasion. He said she stopped at one point when he asked her to remove her top, but started again after she took it off. He denied ordering her to do so and he said she showed "no reluctance" when he asked.

He told the court he wasn't aware of Dara Florence coming into the room and when Mr O'Donoghue QC asked him why, he said "she couldn't come into the room fully or maybe it was my state of mind - my drunkenness".

Mr Olding told the court Paddy was behind her while she was performing oral sex on him but that he couldn't see what he was doing. "I assumed he was doing something but can't be certain," he said.

Afterwards, he said he went into the bathroom next door to clean himself up and when he left he said he believed the sexual activity between them (the complainant and Paddy) would continue.

Mr O' Donoghue QC asked him if there was anything that made him believe she wasn't consenting to anything that was taking place and he said: "Not at all. If I thought anything was, nothing would have happened. Nothing would have started and nothing would have continued".

He also said he was never in the room when Blane McIlroy was there.

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