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Prosecution considering files on social media users who named Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding rape complainant

Stuart Olding and Paddy Jackson who were acquitted following a high profile rape trial. Picture by Alan Lewis- PhotopressBelfast.co.uk

THE Public Prosecution Service (PPS) is considering files on two people who identified the complainant in the recent high profile Belfast trial of rugby players Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding.

The pair were cleared of rape after a trial that lasted nine weeks.

In Northern Ireland a complainant in a rape, sex abuse or incest case has court ordered anonymity for life.

However, a number of people used social media to identify the young woman at the centre of the case.

PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Stephen Martin told the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee this week that the police are engaged in discussions with the PPS about the possibility of bringing contempt of court charges against two of those involved.

A police spokesman said two people had been interviewed and files sent to the PPS.

Following the trial the two players had their contracts with Ulster Rugby revoked and have since been signed by clubs in France.

Retired judge Sir John Gillen is currently conducting an independent review into how the criminal justice system deals with serious sexual offence cases.

The review is expected to examine issues such as the disclosure of evidence and level of support provided to complainants, victims and witnesses as well as reviewing access to the public gallery of court rooms during rape cases and whether defendants should be entitled to anonymity before conviction.

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