Friends would consider alleged victim 'very determined', court told

Friends of a woman at the centre of a rape trial involving two Ireland and Ulster rugby players consider her "very" determined, a court has been told.

The woman was asked whether friends thought she was mature, self-reliant, self-assured, determined and intelligent.

Answering "yes" as each adjective was relayed to the 12-person jury, the woman responded "very" when a barrister for one of the four defendants said the word "determined".

The woman, who was giving evidence for the seventh separate day, was cross-examined by Arthur Harvey QC, representing Blane McIlroy, who denies one count of exposure.

Blane McIlroy (Brian Lawless/PA)
Blane McIlroy (Brian Lawless/PA)

When the lawyer questioned if she was considered intelligent, she replied: "That's a matter of opinion."

There were some tense exchanges between the woman and Mr Harvey during a lengthy evidence session at Belfast Crown Court and the woman was given several breaks.

At one point she was questioned about her use of the third person narrative when describing events from the alleged rape.

Mr Harvey told the court it was like she was "repeating something she had read" rather than experienced.

"I am trying to make it applicable to anyone here," she replied.

Mr Harvey added: "Trying to make it applicable that every rape victim feels like this."

Later, she told the lawyer she would not engage in a row over "grammar".

She said: "I am not going to argue with you over grammar. You are not going to put words into my mouth."

The woman has been giving evidence from behind a curtain which blocks her view of the court.

The four defendants and packed public gallery have watched her testimony on a screen.

The trial continues.

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