Rugby rape trial: Defence to begin their evidence today

Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding’s rape trial will begin hearing evidence in their defence today.

The Ireland and Ulster rugby players deny raping the same woman at a party at Jackson’s home in south Belfast in June 2016.

Paddy Jackson (left) and Stuart Olding

Blane McIlroy from Royal Lodge Road is accused of exposing himself to her while Rory Harrison from Manse Road denies trying to cover up what is alleged to have happened.

So far, the jurors have spent five weeks listening to the evidence presented by the prosecution.

Bar the one expert witness called by the defence to rebut the other side’s medical evidence, the jurors have only heard from the defence barristers during cross-examinations.

The prosecution closed its case last week so the defence will now be given an opportunity to call evidence if they so wish.

The four accused will also be given an opportunity to take the stand if they want.

Once the defence rests, closing speeches will get underway.

Once they are done, the judge will sum up the evidence and give some legal guidance and the jurors will then begin their deliberations.

Digital Desk

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