Rugby rape trial juror's comments investigated

Ireland and Ulster rugby player Paddy Jackson speaking outside Belfast Crown Court. Niall Carson  PA Wire

"So we got in touch with the Public Prosecution Service and asked them about it and they got back to us and said they'd referred the matter on to the office of the Lord Chief Justice in Northern Ireland".

In the posts, the juror explained why the jury came to the verdict it did and why its deliberations took less than four hours, answering some questions from other commenters.

On Wednesday, rugby players Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding and their friends Blane McIlroy and Rory Harrison were cleared of all charges against them after a nine week trial at Laganside Crown Court in Belfast.

The juror told The Irish Times: 'I'm in big trouble.

It has also renewed the debate on whether defendants in rape trials should also be entitled to anonymity, with their names only being revealed if they are convicted.

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'To that end we want to thank the learned trial Judge Patricia Smyth for her management of this trial in the face of an onslaught of toxic contempt, particularly on Twitter. In a statement immediately after the acquittal, Jackson's lawyer Joe McVeigh was extremely critical of the role played by social media during the course of the trial, suggesting that it ha tainted the entire process of justice in the case.

The high-profile case was surrounded by a whirlwind of commentary online, with Paddy Jackson's lawyer hitting out at the "flood of misinformed, misconceived and malicious content on the internet".

Men, women and children alike took to the streets of Dublin, Belfast, Cork and Galway to stand in solidarity with rape victims. Both are thought to have been influence by the MeToo movement which originated in the US.

POLICE in the North have quizzed two people about alleged breaches of the complainant's right to anonymity in the Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding rugby rape trial. He said police had ignored inconsistencies in the woman's evidence.

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