The Infamous 2018 Belfast Rape: Analysis and Verdict

This assignment is an analysis-based essay on the infamous Belfast rape trail also known as the Rugby rape trail 2018. This case had the involvement of four men namely Paddy Jackson, Stuart Olding, Blane Mcllroy and Rory Harrison and a young woman whose identity seems to be anonymous to the publics knowledge till this day even throughout the extensive background research Ive carried out for this essay assignment.

The victim alleged that she was raped and sexually assaulted by these men at an after party that took place on the 28th of June 2016 at professional rugby star, Paddy Jacksons home located in South Belfast.

The athletes were then arrested and questioned about the alleged complaint made by a then 19-year-old female student who stated she was sexually violated and raped from behind by Paddy Jackson and forced to carry out oral sex on his teammate, Stuart Olding. She also alleged that Blane Mcllroy also entered the room fully naked with penis in his hand also forcefully requesting sex from her while the fourth man involved Rory Harrison was charged with and denied perverting the course of Justice and withholding information that could affect the aftermath of the case.

Although this trial went on for about 9 weeks (over 42 days) with pieces of evidence provided by the victim, the alleged assailants were found not guilty of all charges against them by a jury consisting of eight men and three women with the verdict being unanimous which was indicated to be required by the Judge.

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Stating the above facts, in this assignment I will be carrying out my own investigation and further analysis and breaking down the trail, the verdict and how these men the accused in this situation were found innocent.

From my Perspective, I believe this case was indeed a much more delicate topic for all parties involved and associated with this case including the victims, the accuseds, the witnesses and the public itself. As any rape kind of rape or in this specific case gang-rape could be very traumatizing and triggering towards all parties. Hence why I believe the verdict of this case could have gone either way for the men or the young woman involved.

The evidence provided in this case were DNA samples, mobile information sourced from the parties involved and witness testimonies provided on the stand although all this piece of information was given, I believe they were still certain amount of questions left unanswered.

For example, was this woman aware of her actions that night? Did she initiate the encounter with Mr. Jackson? Was she accompanied by friends to the destination, if so where were they at that point in time? How did she get upstairs was she forced by Mr. Jackson or any of his teammates? But the most important question being who testimony is more concrete and believable?

I am fully aware that the woman in question is entitled to life-long anonymity but I bare to ask this question why the alleged victim’s animosity was held so dearly, all the necessary precautions done to hide and ensure the identity of woman stayed hidden could have ultimately caused her downfall in this case because in other for a story to corelate with people there needs to be a face to sympathize with, a reaction to reason with and furthermore an audiences reaction to be interpreted.

Although she gave a well detailed recap of her own personal side of the story which was her main source of credibility it was what led to the cross examination of her case and the scene of the alleged rape not fully corelating with her story. She then she had assumed that she was vaginally raped which had initially accused Mr. Jackson and his teammate for carrying out this act.

In Conclusion to my brief personal analysis and verdict breakdown of this trial, I believe the inconsistencies of the young ladys testimony played a huge role in the final verdict. The men taking the stand could have also added to the final verdict, but my opinion stands that the womans assumptions in her story contributed highly to the mens not-guilty verdict.

To sum up this essay, I would admit my first thought before carrying out any form of research or investigation on this case, I immediately sided with the young like come on who wouldnt A 19 year old woman gets raped and sexual assaulted by multiple powerful rugby players like one would look like a cold hearted villain not believing or siding with the victim at first glance but throughout this analysis breakdown my initial opinion


  1. RTE New Article published on Wednesday 28th March 2018 by Vivienne Traynor.
  2. The Guardian News Article published on Tuesday 4th December 2018 by Susan McKay.
  3. Irish Times News Article published on Wednesday 28th March 2018 by Conor Gallagher, The Irish Time’s Crime Correspondent.
  4. The Journal News Article published on Wednesday 28th March 2018 by Cormac Fitzgerald.

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The Infamous 2018 Belfast Rape: Analysis and Verdict. (2019, Nov 16). Retrieved from

The Infamous 2018 Belfast Rape: Analysis and Verdict
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