Belfast trial: Judge continues her charge to jurors with summary of evidence

Judge Patricia Smyth told the jurors it was for them to decide where the truth is

Belfast trial: Judge continues her charge to jurors with summary of evidence

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

The judge in Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding’s rape trial is continuing her charge to the jurors before they begin their deliberations.

The Ireland and Ulster rugby teammates deny raping the same woman during a party at Jackson’s home in south Belfast in June 2016.

A legal issue led to an hour long delay this morning.

When the jurors returned to the courtroom, on what is now week nine of the trial, Judge Patricia Smyth began the second part of her charge – a summary of the evidence.

She gave a brief overview of the allegations against the four accused men.

Paddy Jackson is accused of vaginally raping and sexually assaulting the woman at an ‘after party’ in his home.

His friend and rugby teammate Stuart Olding denies forcing her to perform oral sex on him.

Their friend Blane McIlroy is accused of walking in “completely naked”, and another friend Rory Harrison is accused of perverting the course of justice and withholding information.

Judge Smyth told the jurors it was for them to decide where the truth is.

She said it was wrong to leap to the conclusion that because the woman was drunk she was looking for and willing to have sex.

She also said their function was not to sit in judgement on competence of police or to punish them for any perceived failures.