Northern Ireland

Rugby rape trial hears of woman's injuries

Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding Image copyright PAcemaker
Image caption Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding both deny rape

A doctor who examined the woman who says she was raped by two Ulster rugby players has told a court about injuries he found on her body.

Dr Philip Lavery said there was a 1cm-long injury and bruising to her vagina.

But he said it was not possible to say, on the basis of the medical evidence, whether the activity which caused the injuries was consensual or not.

Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding deny raping the woman in Mr Jackson's house, in the early hours of 28 June 2016.

The following evening, the alleged victim referred herself to the Rowan centre in Antrim, a sexual assault referral centre.

The woman, who was 19 at the time, underwent a 30-minute physical examination.

The doctor who examined her noted that she did not report any threats or violence being used during the alleged attacks.

However, Dr Lavery reported her saying that the treatment towards her had been "rough" and had caused pain.

The doctor recorded that while discussing what happened to her she had been "co-operative but tearful".

A video recording was made of the physical examination.

Dr Lavery said he found injuries to the woman's vagina.

He said that his findings would be consistent with blunt trauma to the area, but the medical evidence could not prove whether the activity had been consensual or not.

He told the court: "There is no way of giving entire credence as to whether this was consensual or not."

He added: "It does not help in deciding the consensuality of intercourse."

'Five minutes'

Earlier, the court heard that Mr Olding had insisted the sexual activity in which he took part was "entirely consensual".

Mr Olding's barrister, Frank O'Donoghue QC, said he co-operated fully with police after he was arrested in June 2016.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Stuart Olding's barrister said he had given a 'clear' account of what happened

He said Mr Olding had given a "clear" account of what happened.

Mr O'Donoghue asked a police officer who is part of the investigation if Mr Olding had been "fully co-operative" after being arrested two days following the alleged attacks.

"He was," said the officer.

According to Mr O'Donoghue, Mr Olding told the police that he had engaged in consensual sexual activity for about five minutes with the woman, and then left the bedroom alone.

Mr O'Donoghue said Mr Olding told the police what he was wearing on the night in question - a navy shirt, black jeans, black underwear and brown shoes.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Paddy Jackson also denies rape

The court was told by Mr O'Donoghue that the police secured a warrant to search the rugby player's home while he was being interviewed, but they did not seize the clothes he had been wearing.

Mr Olding, 24, from Ardenlee Street, Belfast, is charged with rape. He denies the charge.

Mr Jackson, 26, from Belfast's Oakleigh Park, is charged with one count of rape and one count of sexual assault. He denies the charges.

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

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

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

The 12-person jury has been told by Judge Patricia Smyth to wait until they hear all of the evidence in the case before coming to any final conclusions.