Woman allegedly raped by Ireland rugby stars ‘was fixated with Paddy Jackson’, court hears

Woman allegedly raped by Ireland rugby stars ‘was fixated with Paddy Jackson’, court hears

BELFAST Crown Court has heard that the woman allegedly raped by Ireland rugby star Paddy Jackson was “fixated” on him.

Jackson’s friend, Rory Harrison, who is charged with perverting the course of justice, told the jury the woman “appeared to be staring at and fixated with Paddy” on June 27, 2016.

“She did not appear to take her eyes off Paddy,” added Harrison.

Jackson and fellow Ulster player Stuart Olding deny raping the same woman that night after leaving a nightclub in Belfast city centre.

Hours later, the woman took a taxi home with Harrison from Jackson’s west Belfast house.

Harrison was questioned two days later, when police went to his home and interviewed him.

In a statement, the 25-year-old told the court that around an hour after the group arrived at the home, Jackson went upstairs to bed alone.

A short time later the alleged victim went upstairs. Harrison claimed when he next saw her she was “upset and quiet” and he helped her get home by a cab he had arranged.

He added that the woman was “crying and sobbing into herself” during the journey.

The next day, Harrison met with Jackson and Olding at a Soul Food café in south Belfast, saying they “did not discuss” the previous night.

Mr Harrison, of Manse Road, Belfast, was initially treated as a witness by police before being charged with perverting the course of justice and withholding information – which he denies.

The jury were read his original police statement in which he outlined what happened in the lead up to arriving at Jackson’s home.

He said they went back to Jackson's house because he was the "only one with his own place".

Mr Jackson, 26, denies one count of rape and one count of sexual assault.

Mr Olding, 24, also denies rape, while their 26-year-old friend Blaine McIlroy denies one count of exposure.

The trial continues at Belfast Crown Court.