Stuart Olding barrister tells rape trial there is ‘no case’ against his client

Stuart Olding barrister tells rape trial there is ‘no case’ against his client

THE DEFENCE barrister for Ulster and Ireland rugby player Stuart Olding has said in his closing submission at the rape trial that there is no case against his client.

Frank O’Donoghue QC also said his client had been let down badly by the authorities and that the case wasn’t properly investigated.

Mr Olding, 25, denies raping the woman in June 2016 at the home of teammate and co-accused Paddy Jackson, 26.

Mr O’Donoghue said the burden of proof lay with the prosecution, adding the evidence does not come ‘remotely near’ the required standard for the jury to be sure Olding raped the complainant.

“The reality is there was no rape by Stuart Olding. There is no case here. There was no force used,” said Mr O’Donoghue.

“There was consent on both sides at that time; perhaps a matter of regret now, to all parties, but such is life.

“Stuart Olding is innocent in this charge. I implore you to do your duty.”

'Career badly damaged'

Mr O’Donoghue said that his client’s honesty over consuming 23 drinks on the day in question showed that he wanted the truth to come out, “warts and all”.

“He has asked no favours, he has pulled no strings,” said Mr O’Donoghue.

“His career has been very badly damaged as a result of what has happened.

“Indeed, perhaps his and Paddy Jackson's profile has been an unnecessary complicating factor in this case.”

Claiming the case wasn’t investigated properly, Mr O’Donoghue said there were more than a dozen questions police should have asked.

“Why did she not say no?” he said.

“Why did she open her mouth? Why didn't she scream?

“A lot of middle-class girls were downstairs, they were not going to tolerate a rape or anything like that.”

Olding and Jackson are both accused of rape, while the latter is also accused of sexual assault.

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

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

All four men deny the charges.