1. ITV Report

Rape-accused rugby player 'embarrassed' by boastful texts

Ireland and Ulster rugby player Stuart Olding has told a court he is embarrassed and not proud of text exchanges in which he boasted of sexual activity.

The 24-year-old - who denies rape - was giving evidence on his own behalf in Belfast Crown Court on Thursday 8 March.

The court has previously heard about a series of exchanges with friends on the WhatsApp messaging service.

"It was immature boasting with my friends," he told the court.

Mr Olding was questioned for almost two hours by his defence counsel Frank O'Donoghue QC.

He gave graphic detail of the act he says was "performed" by the complainant for about 10 minutes with two brief interruptions - once when co-accused Paddy Jackson went to look for a condom and when he "asked" the woman to remove her top.

When asked if there was anything to suggest the alleged victim was not consenting to what was happening, he said, "No, not at all.

"If I had thought that, nothing would have happened, nothing would have started and nothing would have continued."

He had earlier been asked if he had forced the woman in any way.

Mr Olding answered, "No, I did not force her in any way."

26-year-old Paddy Jackson, from Oakleigh Park in Belfast, denies the charges against him. Credit: PaceMaker

The rape trial being heard by Judge Patricia Smyth is now in its sixth week.

The court heard how Mr Olding had initially gone upstairs to find somewhere to sleep.

The door to Mr Jackson's room was closed but he opened it and walked in to see Mr Jackson kissing the alleged victim.

When asked what his reaction had been, he said, "I had just intruded in two people kissing on the bed. I turned to leave."

He added that the woman "turned around and held out her hand as an invitation to stay."

He says he then closed the door before starting to kiss the alleged victim on the bed.

In earlier evidence, Mr Olding insisted he had told police the truth about what happened when he was interviewed two days after the alleged attack.

The court also heard how Mr Olding had returned from a South African rugby tour as part of the Ireland squad shortly before the alleged rape.

The jury of eight men and three women also heard that Mr Olding and co-accused Mr Jackson - who also denies rape - were close personal friends.

"Yes, he is a very close friend," Mr Olding added.

Mr Jackson - 26, from Oakleigh Park in Belfast - and Mr Olding - 24, from Ardenlee Street in the city - deny raping the same woman in south Belfast on 28 June 2016.