Rugby rape trial: Paddy Jackson can make bid to recover legal defence costs

Paddy Jackson leaves court after being found not guilty. Picture by Mal McCann
Brendan Hughes

PADDY Jackson can apply to recover the cost of his legal defence after being cleared of rape.

The Ireland and Ulster rugby player was the only defendant in the trial who did not receive legal aid.

But after being found not guilty, he will be entitled to make an application to the court to seek to recover his defence costs.

The 42-day trial is thought to be one of the most expensive rape trials in UK judicial history.


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The defence bill for the case – which was taken against four defendants, each with their own legal team – is believed to be well above £1.5m.

It is estimated Mr Jackson's own legal defence bill could be more than £300,000.

In March 2017 he signed a deal with Ulster Rugby that is believed to have netted him a salary of around £400,000 per season.

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Stuart Olding, who was also cleared of rape, was granted legal aid from the fifth week of the trial having funded the earlier costs himself and with the help of friends and family.

Blane McIlroy, who was acquitted of exposure, and Rory Harrison, acquitted of perverting the course of justice and withholding information, were granted legal aid at the outset of the case.

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