NI: Stuart Olding solicitor calls for rape case reviews

NI: Stuart Olding solicitor calls for rape case reviews

The solicitor acting for former rugby player Stuart Olding has called for a review of all rape and sexual assault cases in Northern Ireland.

Belfast-based solicitor Joe Rice said he had concerns about how evidence was being collected and handled following his client’s nine-week rape trial before Belfast Crown Court.

At the end of the widely-followed proceedings, Mr Olding and Paddy Jackson were found not guilty of raping a woman.

Mr Rice welcomed the announcement that the Lord Chief Justice, Sir Declan Morgan, is discussing issues raised by the trial with the trial judge and other senior members of the judiciary.

The solicitor added: “However, I also take a wider view that all rape and serious sexual assault cases currently awaiting trial should now be reviewed in Northern Ireland.

“I would like to see a review of the work of the PSNI and its Sexual Crimes Unit in relation to these cases, which could be extended to encompass how our Public Prosecution Service deals with and reviews the evidence that it is provided with by investigating police.

“Defence solicitors have genuine concerns that police and prosecutors may not have the necessary systems or resources to get to grips with the way they handle evidence and especially electronic evidence.”

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