Northern Ireland news

One of the most expensive rape trials in UK judicial history

Blane McIlroy with legal counsel at Laganside Court. Picture by Pacemaker

IT was one of the most expensive rape trials in UK judicial history.

The almost unprecedented length of the case - it lasted 42 days - that was taken against four defendants, each with their own legal team, has pushed the cost of justice to close to an estimated £2 million.

Legal sources estimate that each of the four defence QCs will charge in the region of £5,000 a day.

They in turn were assisted by junior counsel who can expect to collect between £2,000-3,000 per diem.

On top of this, the four firms of solicitors will have hefty bills for their work preparing complex evidence in the case.

By this calculation, collectively, the defence bill will be well above £1.5m.

Meanwhile, under the new fees system, the prosecution can expect to have spent around five per cent less on its team of barristers.

It is understood that Paddy Jackson will foot the entire bill of more than £300,000.

The Ulster Number 10 signed a deal believed to have netted him a salary of around £400,000 per season in March 2017, at the end of what director of rugby Les Kiss described as a drawn-out process.

Jackson committed to Ulster until 2019 on the improved deal after the side had to compete for his services against rumoured `interest from abroad'.

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Ulster and Ireland rugby player Stuart Olding arrives at Laganside Court with solicitor Joe Rice. Picture by Pacemaker

Blane McIlroy's barrister Arthur Harvey QC at Belfast Crown Court Picture by Alan Lewis/Photopress

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

Prosecution barrister QC Toby Hedworth arrives at Laganside Court. Picture by Pacemaker

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