RUGBY STARS QUIZZED OVER ‘SEX ATTACKS’
Stars released pending police report
INTERNATIONAL rugby stars Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding have been quizzed by police in connection with a number of alleged sexual offences.
Jackson and Olding were two of three men arrested and interviewed by police in relation to alleged incidents in south Belfast.
All three men were released pending a police report.
The alleged offences and arrests happened in June but details have only now emerged.
A statement from Ulster Rugby made clear the men maintain their innocence.
It said: “Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding have been assisting the Police Service of Northern Ireland with inquiries.
“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.”
A separate statement from Jackson’s lawyers said: “He rejects completely any allegations made against him. 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.”
Jackson was not included in Ireland’s 27-man squad travelling to Chicago to play New Zealand on Saturday. The Irish Rugby Football Union said the fly-half was left out of the party for “personal reasons”.
Olding is out of action with a hip injury. 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 both played regularly this season.
The PSNI said: “Police arrested two men aged 24 and one man aged 23 on Thursday, June 30, in relation to a number of sexual offences, reported to have taken place at a property in south Belfast on June 28.
“The men have been interviewed and released.”
DENIAL: Stuart Olding