QotD: “Additional blood on Jackson’s sheets and ‘middle class’ tweet”

A judge has lifted reporting restrictions on the trial of two Ireland rugby players acquitted of rape.

Jurors were unaware that there were photographs of additional blood on the sheets of Paddy Jackson’s bed, with the rugby player’s barrister saying he had “no intention of saying where this blood came from”.

Also kept from the jury was the fact a short pornographic video featuring a ‘spit-roast’ was sent by Rory Harrison to Stuart Olding the day after the events of that night.

Mr Olding’s lawyer, Frank O’Donoghue QC, had also sought to have the jury discharged just two days before they retired to consider the verdict after a comment by Alliance leader Naomi Long MLA on Twitter.

In her comment, Ms Long referenced Mr O’Donoghue’s closing speech to the jury, where he wondered why the complainant didn’t scream.

“Why didn’t she scream? – the house was occupied”, he said. “There were a lot of middle-class girls downstairs – they weren’t going to tolerate a rape or anything like that.”

Ms Long tweeted: “I genuinely have no words for how atrocious this statement is. Middle class girls? What? Because “working class girls” wouldn’t care/don’t matter/think rape is normal? What is the implication of that comment even meant to be? Appalling on every level.”

However, Judge Patricia Smyth refused the application to discharge the jury, saying they had been warned repeatedly not to read anything about the trial in the press or on social media. She said she believed the jurors were capable of following instructions, and there was no reason to believe they had any knowledge of the tweet.

Independent.ie, continue reading here

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