Key witness in Belfast rape trial offered 'big money' by UK and Ireland media outlets 1 year ago

Key witness in Belfast rape trial offered 'big money' by UK and Ireland media outlets

One of the key witnesses who recently gave evidence in Belfast has been offered 'big money' to tell her story.

Media outlets in both the UK and Ireland are believed to have approached Dara Florence in the last number of days.

However, the 21-year-old university student has turned down the offers and has no plans to speak publicly on the rape trial.

Sunday Life spoke briefly with her - during which time Dara confirmed to the publication that she didn't want to talk of her experiences.

On Wednesday at Laganside Crown Court, Paddy Jackson, Stuart Olding, Blane McIlroy, and Rory Harrison were cleared of all charges against them.

Jackson and Olding were found not guilty of rape, McIlory was found not guilty of exposure, and Harrison was found not guilty of perverting the course of justice and withholding information.

Dara Florence was present at the house of Paddy Jackson on the night of June 28, 2016 and observed "for less than a minute" the scene involving Jackson, Olding, and the woman at the centre of the case.

Dara told the court that she had seen a "threesome" and that she saw no obvious sign of distress. She also said she was "100 percent" positive she witnessed Jackson having penetrative sex with the alleged victim, however, he denied this had taken place.

During the course of the trial, the jury heard the content of WhatsApp and text messages shared between the defendants regarding the night in question.

The messages between the four defendants that punctuated that night out and the days following were read out in full in court by Toby Hedworth QC, senior counsel for the prosecution.

The content of WhatsApp and text message evidence put before the trial is reproduced here.