One person to face prosecution for allegedly identifying woman at centre of Belfast rape trial

Prosecutors are said to have considered evidence from police in relation to social media posts

One person to face prosecution for allegedly identifying woman at centre of Belfast rape trial

Belfast Crown Court. Picture by: Niall Carson/PA Archive/PA Images

One person is to face prosecution in the North for allegedly identifying the woman at the centre of the Belfast rape trial.

The Public Prosecution Service in Northern Ireland (PPSNI) confirmed it is taking the case after considering all evidence.

The individual is facing a charge of breaching the lifetime ban on identifying the complainant.

All complainants in rape cases in Northern Ireland are entitled to lifelong anonymity.

A second person who had also been reported by police will not face prosecution, due to "insufficient evidence".

In a statement, PPSNI said: "The Public Prosecution Service can confirm it has taken a decision to prosecute one person in relation to an allegation of breaching the anonymity granted to a complainant in a high profile rape trial.

"In taking these decisions, senior prosecutors considered evidence received from police in relation to social media posts which were alleged to have potentially identified a complainant involved in trial proceedings which ran at Belfast Crown Court from January to March 2018." 

In March, all four defendants in the Belfast trial were found not guilty on all charges.

Former Ireland and Ulster rugby internationals Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding were acquitted of raping the same woman at a party in Jackson’s south Belfast home in June 2016.

26-year-old Paddy Jackson had denied vaginally raping the 19-year-old woman. He was also acquitted of one count of sexual assault.

25-year-old Stuart Olding was acquitted of one count of oral rape. 

Their friend Blane McIlory was acquitted of one count of exposure.

Another friend Rory Harrison was acquitted of perverting the course of justice and withholding information.