Independent review into cases of serious sexual offences in Northern Ireland

It follows the high profile rape trial of two Ulster Rugby players

Independent review into cases of serious sexual offences in Northern Ireland

File photo of the Laganside Courts in Belfast | Image: Jack Quann

A retired judge is to lead an independent review into how cases of serious sexual offences are dealt with in Northern Ireland.

The review will be led by John Gillen.

It follows the high profile rape trial of two Ulster Rugby players.

Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding were acquitted of all charges in the case.

Two of their friends, Rory Harrison and Blaine McIlroy, were also acquitted of all charges against them.

The review will examine weather defendants, as well as complainants, should be granted anonymity as is the practice in the Republic.

It is also likely to consider the nature of reporting restrictions in such cases, and attendance by the public at trials involving serious sexual offences.

The BBC says Mr Gillen met with representatives of victims' groups at Stormont on Tuesday to discuss the scope of the review.

It is hoped the findings will be made available in January of next year.