Online comments posted by juror in Irish rugby rape trial investigated

Online comments posted by juror in Irish rugby rape trial investigated

Paddy Jackson has been acquitted of rape

Friday, March 30, 2018

Northern Ireland's Attorney General is investigating online comments posted by a juror in the Irish rugby rape trial.

A spokesperson for Attorney General John Larkin's office has confirmed the issue has been passed on to the region's senior law officer by Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan.

The investigation aims to establish whether the comments are a breach of contempt of court laws.

Two people have also been questioned by police in Northern Ireland in connection with naming the complainant in the case online.

Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding were acquitted of rape on Wednesday (March 28) following a nine-week trial at Belfast Crown Court.

Jackson was also found to be not guilty of sexual assault, when the jury of eight returned unanimous verdicts after three hours and 45 minutes of deliberation.

Two other men were acquitted of lesser charges related to the same incident. Blane McIlroy was also acquitted of exposure while Rory Harrison was found not guilty of perverting the course of justice and withholding information.

By law, jurors are not permitted to disclose details of their deliberations in any trial.

However remarks from the juror appeared hours after the unanimous not guilty verdicts were delivered, below a story on the case on the website Broadsheet.ie.

A Police Service of Northern Ireland spokesman said police are "aware" of the comments.