Belfast trial: Blane McIlroy denies claim he walked into bedroom completely naked

Belfast trial: Blane McIlroy denies claim he walked into bedroom completely naked

A fourth male, Rory Harrison, denies a charge of withholding information and perverting the course of justice.

He was asked about a message hours later in which the complainant stated what happened had not been consensual.

Mr Harrison said: "My initial reaction was shock that something had happened she was not consenting to".

He told the court: "When the police phoned me I panicked and thought they might not read well, but in hindsight I shouldn't have, there was no need". But the more I thought about it, Patrick Jackson is the last person in the world who would rape someone.

"I didn't believe it".

On Wednesday, after 25 days of evidence, the jury in the rape trial of Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding finally heard from the accused themselves about what happened on June 28th, 2016.

He said he had seen the young woman stare at Mr Jackson during the party.

Gavan Duffy QC asked: "Did you speculate to yourself about what might have happened?"

He told the court he saw the woman "follow" Jackson upstairs.

When asked why, the defendant said: "Because I did not believe it. I didn't want to worry him about something I had absolutely no faith was true".

Harrison, who has a history degree from UCD, has been close friends with the accused for years. After Mr Duffy asked how her demeanor was, Harrison said: "She was definitely a bit more upset". Harrison said he speculated, "She may have been rejected by Patrick". He also told the jury he heard Harrison on the phone, and he appeared to be talking in code.

Stuart Olding and Blane McIlroy have also given evidence in defence of the allegations against them and Mr. Harrison may do the same today but he's under no obligation to do so.

"Everyone was singing "Will Grigg's on fire" and some people were taking their tops off", he said.

Mr Hedworth later added: "Do you have any idea how preposterous your story is?"

Harrison told the court the complainant had been "staring" at Jackson during the party.

"You weren't getting it from the object of your affections so instead you tried to get it elsewhere", Mr Hedworth said.

Mr Harrison said he went back down into the living room and the alleged victim came in. After lunch they were questioned on these accounts by the prosecution.

Rory Harrison was called to the witness box on Saturday.

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He denied there had been any clandestine conversations.

The four accused men sit together inside a spacious glass box in the courtroom.

The woman claimed she was raped from behind by Jackson whilst being forced to perform oral sex on Olding.

Belfast trial: Blane McIlroy denies claim he walked into bedroom completely naked

The complainant, a 19-year-old Belfast student, alleges she was at a house party in Jackson's home when she went upstairs to get her handbag.

Mr Harrison said he brought her home, and walked her up her driveway.

"No, I didn't", Mr Harrison replied.

Later, he denied attempting to cover up or "manage" the situation.

Meanwhile, it was as Harrison, Olding and Jackson were having lunch on June 30, 2016 - his birthday - when senior figures at Ulster Rugby contacted the two players telling them to go to the police station, the court heard.

Harrison was asked about his alcohol intake, and admitted by the time his group left Ollie's to go back to Jackson's home, he was "fairly drunk".

Blane McIlroy has been accused of providing a "preposterous" story to police.

"You never engaged in sexual activity".

Mr Duffy said: "Did you believe there had been a rape or sexual assault?"

He was also asked if he told Mr Olding about the message.

"I was aware that that police seize phones".

He said: "Oh, what have you two been up to tonight?"

"I'm not proud", he said, hanging his head in shame.

He had voluntarily attended the PSNI station in Belfast, without a solicitor on the understanding he was going to clarify points in his witness statement, it emerged.

"No, I wasn't", he said, adding that he had answered honestly all questions from the police.

When asked if he was in fact trying to impede the investigation, Harrison replied, "No I wasn't".

Mr Olding answered: "I wouldn't put it that way".

The barrister continued: "You have delivered the wrong lines".

The case has been adjourned until Monday.

Satuday's hearing ended early due to legal arguments, with Judge Patricia Smyth thanking the jury for coming in at the weekend.

Notre Dame vs Duke
Perhaps most telling was Brey's willingness to discuss with reporters, right in front of his team in their locker room, the NIT. Notre Dame will be dogged by two bad losses - Ball State and IN - when the selection committee considers its bid moving forward.

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