'I wouldn't do that' – Ireland rugby star Paddy Jackson takes stand for first time to deny raping woman

'I wouldn't do that' – Ireland rugby star Paddy Jackson takes stand for first time to deny raping woman

IRELAND and Ulster rugby player Paddy Jackson has taken to the stand to give evidence at his rape trial in Belfast.

On what was the 27th day of the trial, Jackson continued to deny the rape and sexual assault of a woman in his bedroom two years ago.

The 26-year-old insisted he was not an "aggressive" person as he took to the witness box for the first over the alleged June 2016 incident.

Speaking as his barrister QC quizzed him about the events before, during and after that night, Mr Jackson said he would be "completely freaked out" if a woman left his house crying.

He insisted that all of the sexual activity he engaged in was consensual and said he did not know that the woman had left upset about what had allegedly happened.

"The last thing I want is a girl crying and leaving my house. I would have completely freaked out," Mr Jackson told Belfast Crown Court.

"I would have gone to help her. If I had known she was upset, I would have tried to contact her."

Fellow Ireland international Stuart Olding also denies rape (Picture: Getty)

Mr Kelly QC asked his client whether he had forced the woman, who was 19 at the time, to engage in sexual activity after a party at his home.

"No, I wouldn't do that," Mr Jackson told the court.

He later added: "She was enjoying it."

Earlier in the trial, the complainant told the court that she was attacked after going upstairs to get her handbag.

She claimed that Mr Jackson followed her up the stairs and raped her.

But Mr Jackson insisted she had followed him upstairs after she "ran her fingernails down my right arm" in the downstairs living room.

He said he touched her sexually and she performed oral sex on him, but it did not lead to full sexual intercourse as he could not find a condom.

Mr Jackson stands accused of rape alongside his Ireland and Ulster teammate Stuart Olding, while friends Blane McIlroy and Rory Harrison are respectively accused of exposure and perverting the course of justice.

Jackson is also charged with one count of sexual assault. All four men deny the charges against them.

The alleged incident involving Olding and Jackson occurred on June 28, 2016 (Images: Getty)

Continuing his testimony, Jackson said Stuart Olding later came into his bedroom while the woman was still there.

He said that she then switched her attention to Olding and performed oral sex on him.

Asked by his barrister if he had encouraged or forced her to do this, Jackson insisted: "No."

When questioned about his upbringing, rugby career and friends within the sport, he added that Olding was a "very close friend".

He also explained he was close to fellow Irish internationals Rory Best and Iain Henderson.

He said he had baby-sat Rory Best's children and attended his son's sixth birthday party.

Last month, Irish skipper Best spoke out after causing a social media storm by attending the trial in Belfast.

The legendary hooker explained his presence at court, saying he was advised to hear the victims’ story.

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

Mr Olding, 24, of Ardenlee Street, Belfast,also denies rape.

Blane McIlroy, 26, of Royal Lodge Road, Belfast, denies one count of exposure while Rory Harrison, 25, of Manse Road, Belfast denies perverting the course of justice and withholding information.

Judge Patricia Smyth has told the 11-strong jury to wait until they hear all of the evidence in the case before coming to any final conclusions.