Rugby rape trial: Jury told 'a woman is entitled to say no' to sexual activity
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Rugby rape trial: Jury told 'a woman is entitled to say no' to sexual activity

JURORS at the rape trial of Ireland rugby internationals Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding have been told a woman is entitled to say 'no'.

Addressing the jury at Belfast Crown Court for the second time since Friday, Judge Patricia Smyth advised them to "bear in mind" explanations of the law on consent.

Judge Smyth said: "A woman is entitled to say no and to decide what sexual activity she wants, how far she is prepared to go and what she does not want to do."

Issuing legal directions to the jury of eight men and three women, she continued: "It is important that you understand that it is on the basis of evidence you have heard whether you are sure of the defendants' guilt.

"Your function is not to sit in judgment of the competencies of the police or punish them for any perceived failures."

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The judge added that the task of the jury is to decide weather the prosecution had made them "sure" of the defendants' guilt, and not to leap to conclusions.

"Please do not let yourselves be distracted from this task," she said.

“You must not assume that because [the complainant] was drunk she must have been looking for or willing to have sex.

“It would be wrong to leap to that conclusion."

Paddy Jackson and his Ulster and Ireland teammate Stuart Olding are accused of raping the same woman in Mr Jackson's south Belfast home, in the early hours of June 28, 2016.

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

Jackson, 26, of Oakleigh Park in Belfast, denies one charge of rape and another of sexual assault.

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Olding, 25, from Ardenlee Street in the city, also denies rape.

Blane McIlroy, 26, from Royal Lodge Road in Belfast, denies exposure, while Rory Harrison, 25, from Manse Road in Belfast, has pleaded not guilty to perverting the course of justice.

The case continues.