Woman feared looking like ‘stupid little girl’ if she went to police, rugby rape trial hears
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Woman feared looking like ‘stupid little girl’ if she went to police, rugby rape trial hears

THE TRIAL of two Irish rugby players accused of raping a woman has heard she was reluctant to go to police, having told a friend "it's my word against theirs".

Paddy Jackson, 26 and Stuart Olding, 24, who play for Ireland and Ulster, are both charged with one count of rape, while Jackson is also charged with one count of sexual assault.

Both men deny the charges.

On the day the victim was cross-examined by a defence barrister for the first time, the court was read a text message she sent to a friend in the hours after the alleged attack.

In it she wrote: “No, I do not want to get the police involved.

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“You know how that will turn out. It's my word against theirs.

“Ulster rugby will vouch for their good character and I will just look like a stupid little girl."

The court was also played footage of the woman’s police interview where she expressed similar concerns.

In the video she said to police: “I am so worried about what is going to happen to me after this. It's because they are big names here."

The woman alleges the attack took place at a house in South Belfast in June 2016.

Police interview video

Jackson's defence barrister, Brendan Kelly QC, asked the woman why she had not told friends that another woman had entered the room during alleged attack.

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She told the court: "When this girl walked into the room, the stage she walked in at, she had already missed the moment these men crossed the line.”

She later said she failed to mention this potential witness during her first police interview, saying the "salient" point was the fact she had been raped, and the other woman walking in was "secondary".

The alleged victim became distressed when footage of her police interview was played to the court.

In the video she said she felt she had no choice during the alleged rape, saying: "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."

Both Olding and Jackson deny the charges against them.

Two other men have also been charged in relation with the case.

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Blane McIlroy, 26, of Royal Lodge Road, Belfast, is charged with one count of exposure.

Rory Harrison, 25, of Manse Road, Belfast, is charged with perverting the course of justice and withholding information.

Both men deny the charges.