Medic who examined alleged rugby rape victim could not say if sex was consensual

A doctor who examined a woman allegedly raped by two Ireland and Ulster rugby players could not determine whether the sexual contact had been consensual, despite intimate injuries.

Belfast Crown Court was told the complainant had a one centimetre bleeding laceration on the wall of her vagina, as well as minor bruising to her right arm and right leg.

When questioned about possible causes of the injuries, Dr Philip Lavery, a forensic medical officer, said: "There's no way of giving entire credence as to whether this was consensual or not...No, it does not help in deciding the consensuality of intercourse."

Stuart Olding (left) and Paddy Jackson (right).

Dr Lavery examined the woman after she referred herself to the Rowan rape crisis centre in Antrim the day after the alleged attack in June 2016.

The high profile trial, being heard by Judge Patricia Smyth, has entered its fourth week.

The 12-person jury also heard how swabs and blood samples were taken by medics at the Rowan centre, and clothing the complainant had worn on the night in question was also retained.

The woman had been tearful but co-operative during the hour-long examination and showed no signs of intoxication, the court heard.

A recording of the intimate examination was taken at the time, the court heard.

Later, during questioning by a barrister for Stuart Olding who also denies rape, Dr Lavery read aloud notes he had recorded about the complainant's account of what happened.

In them she described being "pushed on to the bed" and raped by a man who then turned her over and "raped her from the front".

The alleged assailant caused pain because he was "rough", the doctor noted.

According to the document, a second man entered the room and raped her while she was on her back.

A third man then came into the room and took his trousers off, but the doctor had recorded the woman was able to escape when the second suspect "got off her".

Four men on trial in connection with the alleged attack deny all the charges against them.

The case continues.

Alleged rugby rape victim gave differing accounts about sex act, trial hears

A woman at the centre of a rape trial involving two Irish international rugby players provided police with differing accounts about a sex act involving one of the accused, a court has heard.

During an interview on June 30, 2016 - two days after the alleged attack - the complainant gave "contrasting answers" about an alleged oral rape by Stuart Olding, his barrister Frank O'Donoghue QC told Belfast Crown Court.

When asked how the alleged oral rape came about, the woman first told detectives: "I am not entirely sure, to be honest."

Stuart Olding

Later, during the same interview, her answer appeared to change, the barrister suggested.

Mr O'Donoghue added: "Her answer seems to change to 'I am really sure my head was forced down'."

He was cross-examining a PSNI detective constable who had been monitoring the ABE (achieving best evidence) interview.

The officer was unable to interject with questions because he was not ABE-trained at the time, it emerged.

The court also heard how Olding was arrested an hour after the complainant's interview concluded.

He had voluntarily attended Musgrave Street PSNI station in Belfast and was arrested, Mr O'Donoghue said.

While being questioned at the police station, Olding's south Belfast home was searched and clothing was retrieved - however not the outfit he had been wearing on the night of the alleged offence, the court was told.

Asking the detective about Olding's conduct during the interview, Mr O'Donoghue said: "Mr Olding was fully co-operative?"

The officer answered: "He was."

Probing further the lawyer added: "Is it fair to say that he had asserted during the course of the interviews very important facts relevant to the oral sex?

"For example he told you what he was wearing? He told you he was wearing a navy shirt? He told you he was wearing black jeans? He told you he was wearing black boxer underwear? He told you he was wearing brown shoes?"

The detective replied: "I could not remember specifics."

In his account to police, Olding said the complainant had performed oral sex (on him).

His client had been very clear about what happened but insisted it was consensual, said Mr O'Donoghue.

"He accepted that primary fact, that it lasted for about five minutes," said Mr O'Donoghue.

"He did say that she asked them, Mr Jackson and Mr Olding, to go and get condoms?"

The officer said: "I recall that being mentioned."

The 12-person jury will have an opportunity to listen to the police interviews, the court was told.

Later the PSNI detective was asked about a statement taken from a girl who walked into the room during the alleged rape.

Mr O'Donoghue said: "She described it as a threesome. She never described in any of that statement obvious forcing?"

The officer said: "No, she never."

When questioned about any obvious inconsistencies between the accounts provided by Ms Florence and Olding the officer added: "I believe Mr Olding had said that (the complainant) had her top off but had her trousers on and (the friend) had said she was entirely naked."

Paddy Jackson, 26, from Oakleigh Park in Belfast, and his Ireland and Ulster teammate Stuart Olding, 24, from Ardenlee Street also in the city, deny raping the same woman at a house in south Belfast in June 2016.

Jackson denies a further charge of sexual assault.

Blane McIlroy, 26, from Royal Lodge Road, Ballydollaghan, Belfast, denies exposure and Rory Harrison, 25, from Manse Road, Belfast, denies perverting the course of justice and withholding information.

The case continues.

KEYWORDS: Court, Trial

 

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