Belfast Jury Must Decide Where The Truth Lies
The judge in the trial of two Ireland rugby players accused of rape has told the jury that inconsistencies in a person’s account don't mean it is untrue.
Paddy Jackson and his Ulster teammate Stuart Olding deny raping the same 19-year-old student at a party in Jackson’s south Belfast home in June 2016.
The woman claims Paddy Jackson raped her on his bed before Stuart Olding joined in and forced her to perform oral sex on him.
She initially told friends she had been raped by “three Ulster rugby scum” and later said it was two.
The players' friend Blane McIlroy denies exposing himself to her.
The woman initially said he took off his trousers after he came into the room but told the court he walked in “completely naked”.
In relation to these and other inconsistencies, Judge Patricia Smyth warned the jurors not to make the assumption her evidence to them is untrue just because she said something different to someone else.
She said: "A person’s memory in these cases can be affected in different ways and may have a bearing on one’s ability to take it in, register and recall it."
She told them that when they make an assessment relating to evidence that is in dispute, they are entitled to consider whether lapses of memory are genuine or a convenient excuse for the four defendants to avoid explaining their behaviour.
She said it was wrong to conclude that because the woman was drunk that she was looking for and willing to have sex.
Judge Patricia Smyth has told the jury it is for them to decide where the truth lies.