‘She was sobbing’ – Taxi driver says alleged rape victim of Ireland rugby stars was ‘very upset’ in cab home

‘She was sobbing’ – Taxi driver says alleged rape victim of Ireland rugby stars was ‘very upset’ in cab home

THE rape trial of Ulster rugby stars Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding has heard their alleged victim “cried and sobbed” in a taxi home.

FonaCAB driver Stephen Fisher told Belfast Crown Court today that the woman was “sobbing into herself” after he picked her up in the early hours of Tuesday, June 28 2016.

He added: "The young woman definitely seemed very upset. She was crying/sobbing throughout the journey.

"She didn't really talk very much at all bar telling me where she needed to go to."

Mr Fisher also revealed that when police contacted him days after, he knew "straight away" what it was in connection with.

Jackson, 26, and Olding, 24, deny raping the woman, who was 19 at the time, in the bedroom of Jackson’s south Belfast home.

The woman left the house just before 5am and was accompanied in the taxi home by the pair’s friend Rory Harrison, 25, who is charged with perverting the course of justice.

A third man, 26-year-old Blaine McIlroy, is charged with one count of exposure.

Giving evidence during the third week of the trial, taxi driver Mr Fisher said Harrison comforted the woman during the journey home.

When asked how the woman interacted with Mr Harrison, the driver added: "The gentleman in question was attempting to comfort the lady.

“He would have been holding on to her. I believe, I remember, her head was placed on his chest and he was trying to comfort her,” he said.

Mr Fisher also said Harrison appeared to be talking in code, explaining “I recall him saying to the person on the phone 'she is with me now, she is not good, I will call you in the morning’."

Asked about what happened when he dropped the pair off, Mr Fisher said the woman was unsteady on her feet and had staining on the backside area of her white trousers.

When he asked Harrison “did you have a rough night?” the 25-year-old allegedly responded “you have no idea.”

All four defendants continue to deny the charges levelled against them at Belfast Crown Court.