UK: Hopeless rape prosecution driven by three women
The senior investigating officer in the case was Det Ch Insp Zoe McKee. Her assistant was Det Ch Supt Paula Hillman. The public prosecutor who decided on the trial was Marianne O'Kane. To get a conviction, they had to disprove consent, an almost impossible task in the light of previous familiarity among the parties concerned. When all the evidence was in the jury rapidly acquitted the accused of all charges.
So there clearly was a biased (feminist?) perspective on the part of the investigators. The charges should not have been brought. Had there been both male and female investigators they probably would not have been. Hopefully there will be no repetition of such an unbalanced setup. It was clearly a feminist setup designed to show how well women can do. It showed how badly they can do
Ireland and Ulster rugby players Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding have been cleared of rape. They both denied raping the same woman in Mr Jackson's house in the early hours of 28 June 2016.
Blane McIlroy, who was accused of exposure, and Rory Harrison, who was charged with perverting the course of justice and withholding information, were also found not guilty.
The verdicts came in the ninth week of the trial. The jury of eight men and three women deliberated for three hours and 45 minutes before delivering their unanimous verdicts.
The incident at the centre of the case was alleged to have happened after the four accused and four women went to Mr Jackson's home in south Belfast from a club in the city centre.
The woman told the court she was attacked after going upstairs to retrieve a clutch bag as she was preparing to leave the house.
The woman claimed Mr Jackson had followed her into the bedroom and pushed her onto the bed. She then claimed she was raped.
However, the accused said that all sexual activity was consensual.
Outside the courthouse, Mr Jackson thanked the judge and jury for "giving him a fair trial" as well as his family and legal team.
His solicitor, Joe McVeigh, hit out at the investigation into Mr Jackson.
"It's our belief that the investigation has been characterised by the turning of a blind eye to inadequacies in the evidence of the complainant combined with the very apparent investigative bias," he said.
He added: "The prosecution made much of a perceived privileged position provided by virtue of Paddy being an international rugby player.
"We say that it was this very status as a famous sportsman that drove the decision to prosecute in the first place."
In a statement read out by his solicitor, Mr Olding said: "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 said he was sorry for the hurt that was caused to the complainant. "It was never my intention to cause any upset to anyone on that night," he said.
"I don't agree with her perception of events and I maintain that everything that happened that evening was consensual.
"I have consistently told the truth to the police and the court when asked to account for my conduct."