Published: Thu, February 15, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Friend tells court alleged rape victim would not lie to her

Friend tells court alleged rape victim would not lie to her

A woman allegedly sexually assaulted by two Irish rugby stars texted a friend hours after the incident is said to have happened saying, "so I got raped", a court heard.

The woman, who can not be named to protect the identity of the complainant, was the first person to be told of the alleged rape nearly two years ago.

"She didn't really talk very much at all bar telling me where she needed to go to".

Mr Kelly asked if she thought her friend might lie to the police. "She would not be lying to me".

The Ireland and Ulster rugby teammates deny raping the then 19-year-old student at Jackson's home in Belfast in June 2016.

During re-examination, the witness told Toby Hedworth QC, prosecuting, she had known her friend for a long time and had seen her through "sad" incidents before but she had never seen her like this.

It showed them leaving separately.

During the conversation, the witness said if she ever got raped she would not go to the police and would deal with the matter herself.

She was asked whether she had effectively "given up" on her friend.

And when asked by Mr Kelly "did you have any concern when you left the room?", she answered "no".

The court heard the woman visited her friend and drove her to the Brook Clinic in Belfast city centre where she spoke with a counsellor. "It is probably just out of politeness". The witness texted back that she would "find a way to blackmail or stab them or something" if she was raped.

"It dawned on me, I went 'oh yeah, it's in relation to that night.' It all came together, the whole episode came together".

The woman answered: "So, obviously I was in shock".

Stephen Fisher said: 'The young woman definitely seemed very upset.

He said he recalled him saying: "She's with me now". She said she was picking the complainant up in her vehicle.

Today, the court heard evidence from the alleged victim's friend.

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When asked why the witness had expressed a reluctance to go to the police, she answered: "I guess from what is going on in this room". It's daunting, quite awful and you get blamed.

"It is a distressing process".

Witness: "Yes. That was clearly a joke".

When asked by Brendan Kelly QC, the barrister representing, "I presume that remains your recollection", she replied "100pc".

The lawyer said: "Did she mention to you that she was petrified that what she had been engaged in or subjected to would be posted on social media?"

The witness replied: "Not that I would have picked up on".

Stuart Olding, from Ardenlee Street in Belfast, also denies raping the same woman.

There was "no reference" to oral sex in any of the exchanges between the two women after the alleged rape, the lawyer put it to the court. Telling the court she had never met the woman who also attended the party and who claimed she was raped that night by Jackson and Olding, she described her as "quite nice ... quiet".

He said she was sobbing and crying and had her head on Mr. Harrison's chest while he comforted her.

In further text messages read to the court, the complainant told her friend: "I feel like I have got bruising literally on my f***y". The woman told the court she had seen Paddy Jackson but did not recognise any of the others.

"For her to just get in vehicle and not stop crying, I didn't know how to respond".

The court heard that the complainant had been in the taxi with Rory Harrison, who denies perverting the course of justice and withholding information.

She added: "For her to just get into the vehicle, hug me and start crying, I didn't even know how to respond to that".

A taxi driver who took a young woman home from a party at the home of rugby global Paddy Jackson said she was "crying/sobbing throughout the journey", a court heard on Wednesday.

Mr Jackson denies a further charge of sexual assault.

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