A close friend of Ulster rugby players Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding accused of rape told a court he was shocked to hear alleged victim was ‘in hysterics’ when she left the house.

Blane McIlroy took Belfast Crown Court the events of the night. He claims that the woman had smiled at him when he walked in on her and Jackson in bed together earlier in the evening.

The 26 year-old, of Royal Lodge Road, Belfast, who is charged with one count of exposure, was giving evidence in his own defence at the high-profile trial on Friday.

He is on trial alongside Jackson and Olding who are both charged with raping the same woman following a night out in Belfast on June 28 2016.

Ireland and Ulster rugby player Paddy Jackson (left) arrives at Belfast Crown Court

He told the court that during a party in Jackson’s house he went upstairs and found his friend in bed with the alleged victim.

“I went up and opened the door of Mr Jackson’s room. I was fully clothed.

“I saw Paddy and (the woman) lying on the bed naked. I said ‘Oh sorry’ and then I went in,” McIlroy told the court.

He added: “I said ‘What have you two been up to tonight?’ and she smiled.

“I sat down on the bed beside (her). She turned towards me and me and her were talking and we started kissing.”

Ireland and Ulster rugby player Stuart Olding outside Belfast Crown Court

He was asked by his defence barrister Arthur Harvey QC if there had been any reluctance on the woman’s part.

He replied: “No”.

When asked if the kissing was mutual he replied “yes.”

Mr Harvey then asked him: “Did you force yourself on her?”

He replied: “Not at all.”

When asked if the woman had said “no” or “stop” McIlroy replied: “Never. No.”

Paddy Jackson arrives at court – he as already given evidence in the trial

He told the court that the woman then put her hand down the waistband of his boxer shorts and performed a sex act on him.

McIlroy said he then left the room to find a condom and when he came back the woman was at the foot of bed getting dressed and Jackson was lying in the bed.

“I said I couldn’t find a condom. She said ‘it’s fine. It’s late.’ She said ‘I don’t usually have one night stands’,” McIlroy said.

He claimed that the woman continued to get dressed and then she went downstairs and left in a taxi with co-accused Rory Harrison.

Paddy Jackson of Ulster kicks
Paddy Jackson of Ulster kicks

McIlroy said the alleged victim was not upset when she left the house.

He told a court today he dismissed a warning from his friend Harrison that te woman who claims she was raped was in “hysterics” after leaving Jackson’s house.

McIlroy confirmed he received text messages from another pal Rory Harrison in which he stated the woman had been “hysterical” and another saying “it wasn’t going to end well”.

Asked how he reacted to the messages, McIlroy said: “Obviously I didn’t take it seriously because I’d seen [the complainant] leave and I knew she wasn’t in hysterics.”

When asked what his reaction had been when he found out Jackson and Olding had been arrested, he said: “I was shocked. I knew they had been out the night before.

“I just wanted to make sure they had a solicitor or someone to advise them. I was just in shock.”

McIlroy denied the charge against him.

Jackson, 26, from Oakleigh Park in Belfast, and Olding, 24, from Ardenlee Street in the city, deny raping the woman.

Another man, Rory Harrison, 25, of Manse Road, Belfast, is charged with perverting the course of justice and withholding information. He denies the charge.

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