Barrister for friend of rape accused rugby stars delivers closing speech


A barrister for a friend of two rugby stars on trial for rape has begun to deliver his closing speech to Belfast Crown Court.

Gavan Duffy QC, representing Rory Harrison, who denies charges connected to the alleged incident in June 2016, told jurors they held a "huge amount of power" but warned they must be sure of any verdict.

Turning towards the eight men and three women, the defence counsel said: "There is one power that is removed from you.

"That is the power to change your mind."

Mr Duffy told jurors they could not revisit the verdict in a week, a month or a year's time.

He added: "You cannot undo a verdict once you have reached it."

Paddy Jackson, 26, from Belfast's Oakleigh Park, and Stuart Olding, 25, from Ardenlee Street in the city, deny raping the same woman at a house in south Belfast in June 2016.

Jackson denies a further charge of sexual assault.

Blane McIlroy, 26, denies exposure while Harrison, 25, denies perverting the course of justice and withholding information.