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Friday, 02 February 2018

Woman left distressed after police interview played at rugby players rape trial

Written by Lesley-Anne McKeown

A woman who has accused two Ireland and Ulster rugby players of rape was distressed as footage of her police interview was played to a court.

The hour-long video showed an account given to Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) detectives on June 30, 2016, two days after the alleged incident.

It was played to the jury of nine men and three women at Belfast Crown Court on Thursday.

In the recording, the woman broke down a number of times as she recalled to officers how she was allegedly raped.

She said in the footage: "The position they put me in, I did not want to be in that position. I felt I had no choice and the fact that they were so rough. I was bleeding."

The woman also highlighted her worries about the possible repercussions of reporting the incident.

"I am so worried about what is going to happen to me after this," she said.

"It's because they are big names here."

Paddy Jackson, from Oakleigh Park in Belfast, and Stuart Olding (pictured), from Ardenlee Street in the city, deny raping the same woman at a house in south Belfast in June 2016.

Jackson denies a further charge of sexual assault.

The woman, who had drunk wine and vodka and had been socialising in the VIP section of a Belfast nightclub, said she had no intention of having sex that night, the court heard.

"I had not shaved my legs, I hadn't shaved anything," she said. "I wouldn't do that. I know that's not going to stand for anything but I really had no intention and I did not want to."

During the interview, the alleged victim was asked to outline in graphic detail what happened.

She said: "I know Paddy had sex with me, 100%. But my face was down.

"Whether or not Stuart had sex with me, I just don't know.

"I was so numb."

She also described to police how she tried to tell herself it was not happening.

She said: "There was one point when Stuart was on the bed forcing my head.

"Paddy was going at the same time. Paddy was being so rough.

"I couldn't move. I knew I had started to bleed.

"Whenever Paddy stopped having sex with, me he started trying to get his hand up me.

"I was bleeding on the bed. I saw blood on the bed."

The case continues.

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2018, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Brian Lawless / PA Wire.