Paddy Jackson releases first statement since Belfast rape trial: "Criticism of my behaviour is fully justified" 1 year ago

Paddy Jackson releases first statement since Belfast rape trial: "Criticism of my behaviour is fully justified"

Jackson has said that he has "betrayed his family's values."

Paddy Jackson has released a statement this Friday afternoon addressing public discourse against his name and voicing his sentiments on one of the biggest court cases of the decade.

Ireland and Ulster rugby duo Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding were declared not guilty of raping a 19-year-old student in June 2016 and acquitted of all charges last week in Belfast Crown Court.

In an interview with Press Association (PA), Jackson apologised for his actions, saying he has betrayed his family's values.

He apologised "unreservedly" for engaging in "degrading and offensive" WhatsApp conversations about the incident.

The fly-half said public criticism of his behaviour was "fully justified" and he expressed determination to return to the values and principles that were "integral" in his upbringing, in particular the importance of respect.

In a full statement to PA, Jackson mentions how he was "ashamed that a young woman who was a visitor in my house left in a distressed state."

Jackson's full statement, issued through PA, reads: "I am ashamed that a young woman who was a visitor to my home left in a distressed state. This was never my intention and I will always regret the events of that evening.

"I am also truly sorry for engaging in a WhatsApp group chat which was degrading and offensive and I apologise unreservedly for this.

"The criticism of my behaviour is fully justified and I know I have betrayed the values of my family and those of the wider public.

"Following the trial I have taken time to reflect with my family on the values that were such an integral part of my upbringing, the most important of which is respect. My departure from these values has caused understandable public anger and I am resolutely committed to returning to those principles."