Stars deny guilt in sex of­fence al­le­ga­tions

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

IRE­LAND rugby in­ter­na­tion­als Paddy Jack­son and Stu­art Old­ing have de­nied any wrong­do­ing af­ter be­ing ques­tioned by po­lice over al­leged sex­ual of­fences.

The Ul­ster stars and an­other man were ar­rested over al­leged in­ci­dents at a Belfast prop­erty. They were re­leased pend­ing a po­lice re­port be­ing sent to pros­e­cu­tors for as­sess­ment.

Ul­ster Rugby made clear the men main­tain their in­no­cence.

“Paddy Jack­son and Stu­art Old­ing have been as­sist­ing the PSNI [Po­lice Ser­vice of North­ern Ire­land] with in­quiries,” it said in a state­ment yes­ter­day.

“The play­ers deny any wrong­do­ing and have not been charged with any of­fence. As no charges have been brought for­ward, it would be in­ap­pro­pri­ate to com­ment fur­ther.”

The al­leged of­fences and ar­rests hap­pened in June but details have only now emerged.

Jack­son, 24, has been capped for Ire­land 16 times while cen­tre Old­ing, 23, has played four times. The two Belfast men are es­tab­lished stars for Ul­ster Rugby and have played reg­u­larly this sea­son.

Jack­son did not travel to Chicago with the Ire­land squad for their up­com­ing game against New Zealand (see sidebar).

The Ir­ish Rugby Foot­ball Union (IRFU) said the out-half was left out of the party for “per­sonal rea­sons”.

Old­ing is cur­rently out of ac­tion with a hip flexor in­jury.

Jack­son’s lawyers, KRW Law, said their client “re­jects com­pletely any al­le­ga­tions made against him”.

His lawyers’ state­ment added, “Pa­trick has co-op­er­ated fully with po­lice in their in­quiries and we have been li­ais­ing with po­lice on his be­half.

“We are both dis­ap­pointed and in­deed con­cerned that this in­for­ma­tion has been leaked to the press be­fore the in­ves­ti­ga­tion has con­cluded and well in ad­vance of any fi­nal de­ci­sion. This has the po­ten­tial to be prej­u­di­cial to our client’s in­ter­ests.

“We will not hes­i­tate to take all nec­es­sary steps to pro­tect his le­gal po­si­tion as he is en­ti­tled to the pre­sump­tion of in­no­cence. We urge the me­dia to re­strain from any dam­ag­ing spec­u­la­tion.”

The Po­lice Ser­vice of North­ern Ire­land (PSNI) said, “Po­lice ar­rested two men aged 24 and one man aged 23 on Thurs­day 30 June in re­la­tion to a num­ber of sex­ual of­fences, re­ported to have taken place at a prop­erty in south Belfast on 28 June.

“The men have been in­ter­viewed and re­leased from cus­tody. A file will be pre­pared for submission to the Pub­lic Pros­e­cu­tion Ser­vice [PPS]. A fourth man aged 24, will be re­ported to the PPS in re­la­tion to this in­ci­dent for per­vert­ing the course of jus­tice.” –

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