All Found Not Guilty In Belfast Trial

Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding

Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding have been found not guilty on all charges Credit PA

The jury took three hours and 45 minutes to acquit all the men of any wrongdoing.

The duo were cleared of rape at Belfast Crown Court on Wednesday, with Jackson also found not guilty of sexual assault. Stuart Olding, 25, was found not guilty of rape.

Ireland internationals Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding have been found not guilty by a Belfast court on charges of rape.

"The prosecution made much of a perceived privilege position provided by virtue of Paddy being an global rugby player".

The prosecution made much of a perceived privileged position, provided by virtue of Paddy being an global rugby player.

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Following the verdict, Paddy Jackson's legal team released a statement slamming the social media conversation that surrounded the trial while now, Stuart Olding's solicitor, Paul Dougan, also read out a statement on behalf of his client.

It was alleged that the Ulster pair raped a then 19-year-old student at a house party at Jackson's house in June 2016, with the trial having begun at the end of January this year.

Prosecutors told the trial that Olding entered the bedroom while Jackson was raping the woman and joined in.

The trial in front of a jury of 8 men and 3 women lasted 9 weeks. When the trial opened on 30 January 12 jurors were originally sworn in - nine men and three women but this was reduced to 11 jurors after one juror was discharged due to illness.

Olding told the court he had been "in complete control" of his actions despite a day of heavy drinking and that he was "100 percent sure" that what had happened had been consensual.

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I want to acknowledge publicly, that though I committed no criminal offence on the evening of the 28th of June, 2016, I regret deeply the events of that evening.

He added that he was sorry for any hurt caused to the woman, adding: "It was never my intention to cause any upset to anyone on that night".

Both players are contracted with Ulster until the summer of 2019.

"Vile commentary expressed on social media, going well beyond fair comment, have polluted the sphere of public discourse and raise real concerns about the integrity of the trial process".

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