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Not possible to tell if intimate injuries were result of rape, doctor tells court

Ulster rugby player Stuart Olding arriving at Belfast Crown Court yesterday, where he and teammate Paddy Jackson are accused of rape. Picture by Pacemaker

A DOCTOR who examined a young woman who claimed she was raped by two Ulster rugby players confirmed yesterday that it was not possible to determine whether intimate injuries she sustained were caused by non-consensual sex.

The forensic medical officer was giving evidence as the case against rugby players Paddy Jackson (26) and Stuart Olding (24) of Ardenlee Street, Belfast, entered its fourth week.

Both men have denied rape, while Jackson has denied a further charge of sexually assaulting the woman in the bedroom of his Oakleigh Park home in south Belfast after a night out at Ollie's nightclub in July 2016.

The jury at Belfast Crown Court has already heard that in the aftermath of the alleged rape, the complainant - who was 19 at the time - first went to the Brook sexual health clinic in Belfast, before attending the Rowan sexual assault referral centre at Antrim Area Hospital.

The doctor who examined her, who has been a GP since 1996, told Belfast Crown Court the woman came as a self-referral.

He confirmed nursing notes taken on the evening of June 28, 2016 noted "no visible signs of injury" and that he recorded the complainant was "co-operative but tearful" when discussing what occurred.

He said there was a 1cm-long injury and bruising to her vagina.

But he said it was not possible to say, on the basis of the medical evidence, whether the activity which caused the injuries was consensual or not.

He told the court: "There is no way of giving entire credence as to whether this was consensual or not."

He added: "It does not help in deciding the consensuality of intercourse."

The doctor noted that the woman did not report any threats or violence being used during the alleged attacks.

However he reported her saying that the treatment towards her had been "rough" and had caused pain.

Ulster and Ireland rugby player Paddy Jackson arrives at Laganside Magistrates Court. Picture by Pacemaker

The doctor was also asked about the 'history' of the alleged rape, which he noted during the evening he examined the woman.

When he was asked by Mr Jackson's barrister Brendan Kelly QC "if you are not given a full story by someone, and something is withheld from you, it may have an impact on the accuracy to your conclusion?", the medic replied "that would be correct, yes."

Earlier in yesterday's hearing, the jury heard the woman gave inconsistencies to police about how Mr Olding alleged assaulted her.

The 21-year complainant has accused Mr Olding of orally raping her at the same time she was being raped by his teammate Paddy Jackson.

A policeman from the Rape Crisis Unit was cross-examined by Frank O'Donoghue QC, who is representing Olding.

When he was asked about details the complainant gave regarding Olding's part in the sex attack, the Detective Constable said she was interviewed two days after the alleged incident.

When asked about the mechanics of the sex attack, and how oral sex happened she told police "I am not entirely sure to be honest."

When she was again asked in the same interview about this, she said: "There was no conversation. I didn't have a choice. I am really sure my head was forced down."

The jury heard that Olding was arrested an hour after the complainant was interviewed by police.

Officers seized a number of items of clothing - but not the garments he was wearing on the evening in question.

Rory Harrison arrives at court this morning. Picture By: Pacemaker

The police officer confirmed to Mr O'Donoghoe that Mr Olding co-operated fully and gave an account of his actions to police during interview on June 30, 2016.

It is Mr Olding's case that the woman consensually performed oral sex on him and when he left the room the woman was on the bed.

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

Blane McIlroy (26) of Royal Lodge Road, Belfast, is charged with one count of exposure. He denies the charge.

Rory Harrison (25) of Manse Road, Belfast is charged with perverting the course of justice and withholding information. He denies the charge.

Blane McIlroy. Picture By: Pacemaker

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