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Dublin: 7 °C Thursday 12 December, 2019
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Person to be prosecuted for allegedly identifying Belfast rape trial complainant

A second suspect will not be prosecuted as there is insufficient evidence to prove an offence has been committed.

Paddy Jackson was acquitted of charges relating to the alleged rape of a then 19-year-old woman.
Paddy Jackson was acquitted of charges relating to the alleged rape of a then 19-year-old woman.
Image: PA Wire/PA Images

THE PUBLIC PROSECUTION Service in Northern Ireland has decided to prosecute one person after an allegation they breached the anonymity of the woman in the Belfast rape trial.

Rugby players Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding were earlier this year acquitted of charges relating to the alleged rape of a then 19-year-old woman at Jackson’s home in June 2016. Their friend Blane McIlroy was also acquitted of exposure and Rory Harrison was cleared of perverting the course of justice and withholding information.

Today the PPS said:

“After a careful consideration of all evidence, it has been decided to prosecute that person on one charge of breaching the lifetime ban on reporting the identity of an alleged victim.”

The PPS said senior prosecutors considered evidence received from police in relation to social media posts which were alleged to have potentially identified a complainant involved in trial proceedings, which ran at Belfast Crown Court from January to March 2018.

A second suspect reported separately by police for allegedly breaching the same complainant’s identity will not be prosecuted after it was concluded there was insufficient evidence to prove any offence had been committed.

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