Tuesday 19 March 2019

Olding consumed 22 drinks on night of alleged attack, rape trial hears

Stuart Olding arrives at court
Stuart Olding arrives at court

Ireland international rugby player Stuart Olding told police he drank eight cans, four pints, five vodkas, two gins and three shots on the night a woman alleged he raped her, a court has heard.

The audio of Ulster rugby player Mr Olding's police interview was played aloud to a jury during his trial for the alleged rape of a woman at a house in south Belfast after a night out in June 2016.

Mr Olding, (24), of Ardenlee Street in the city, and rugby team-mate Paddy Jackson (26), of Oakleigh Park in Belfast, deny raping the same woman at the house in the early hours of June 28.

Mr Jackson denies a further charge of sexual assault.

The court heard how Mr Olding outlined to police the alcohol he had consumed on the night before going back to the house - eight cans of Carlsberg beer, four pints of Guinness, two gins, five vodka and lemonades and three shots of tequila and sambuca.

Mr Olding confirmed to police that after attending Ollie's nightclub, he and others went back to Mr Jackson's house.

He claimed that in the early hours, he went upstairs and walked into Mr Jackson's bedroom, where he saw his friend and the alleged victim on the bed.

He claimed the girl was straddling Mr Jackson and had "hinted" at him to stay, putting out her hand, and she gave him oral sex.

"In your words what made you think she was consenting to this?" asked the police officer. He said she did not pull away and had kissed him back.

Mr Olding was also asked, "how did it escalate from kissing to oral sex?", to which he replied: "I don't really recall. It just sort of happened."

It is Mr Olding's case that the woman performed oral sex on him for around five minutes, and after that he left the room.

He also claimed at one point the woman "asked us to go and get condoms".

When asked by police who this request was directed at, Mr Olding said, "both of us".

Mr Olding said he then left the room before going to sleep in another room.

He said he was in Mr Jackson's room for about 10 or 15 minutes in total.

The trial had earlier heard a transcript of police interviews conducted with Mr Jackson, who said he was horrified to be accused of rape and told police he had not forced himself on a woman following a night out.


Mr Jackson, who also plays for Ulster, was shocked to hear the allegations against him, the court heard.

In his first statement to police, two days after the alleged rape, Mr Jackson told an officer: "I strenuously deny these allegations. I am shocked and horrified that these allegations have been made against me."

He had been drinking and watching football at Cutter's Wharf in Belfast before going to Ollie's nightclub in the city with friends, the court heard.

He was interviewed about the incident on June 30, and told police he felt it had been a "good" experience to have oral sex with the same person as Mr Olding, the jury heard.

Mr Jackson, who said he found the incident awkward to talk about, believed the woman had been flirtatious toward him, the court heard.

"I think she was flirting with me and I was pretty sure that something was going to happen between us," Mr Jackson told police.

He said the sexual activity happened after the complainant, who cannot be named for legal reasons, followed him to his room for a second time that night.

The pair had earlier shared a consensual kiss, but when he admitted to the alleged victim that he did not know her name they left the room, he said.

He said they "just kind of picked up where we left off" when they returned to his room later, kissing and touching before she began performing oral sex on him.

Mr Olding then came into the room and got on to the bed too and the woman performed oral sex on him, Mr Jackson said.

At this point, Mr Jackson began using his fingers on the woman, he said.

Asked by the officer how the woman seemed, he said: "Fine, I didn't force myself on her so I presumed it was happening and she wanted it to happen. She could have left if she wanted to, but she didn't."

He said he had seen some blood on his fingers and on the sheets.

In the complainant's police interview, which the trial has already heard, she alleged the sexual activity had been rough and she bled.

Asked if he thought it might be hurting her, Mr Jackson said: "If it did, I would've stopped, I definitely would've stopped.

"If she didn't want to be there I would never have stopped her [leaving] or tried to keep her there. No way."

He denied penetrating her with his penis.


Asked how he had felt after the experience, he said: "Well, it sounds stupid because we're here now but obviously like we thought it was good if you know what I mean."

Asked how he felt about both he and Mr Olding having oral sex with the same girl, he said: "Yeah, it felt good, I enjoyed having sex, you know."

Mr Jackson sat in the dock of Belfast Crown Court alongside his three co-accused, as the transcripts were read.

Blane McIlroy (26), from Royal Lodge Road, Ballydollaghan, Belfast, has pleaded not guilty to one count of exposure, while Rory Harrison (25), from Manse Road, Belfast, denies perverting the course of justice and withholding information.

The trial, which is now expected to run until mid-March, will resume on Monday.

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