The Crown Court in Belfast has reserved judgment in an application by the former Ireland and Ulster rugby player Paddy Jackson to have his costs paid by the Public Prosecution Service in Northern Ireland.

Mr Jackson was acquitted last month on a rape charge after a trial lasting nine weeks.

His costs are estimated to be more than £100,000.

Applying for those costs to be repaid, Brendan Kelly QC for Mr Jackson, said his client had paid an enormous price for the events of that evening, despite what Mr Kelly said had been a resounding acquittal.

Mr Kelly said the application for the repayment of legal costs was based on a 13-month delay in charging his client and alleged defects in the police investigation.

Mr Kelly said that his client was without employment, and without the offer of employment.

He said that Mr Jackson had already paid all of his substantial costs and he had been helped by a contribution from his father’s retirement pension fund.

Toby Hedworth QC, representing the Public Prosecution Service, opposed the application and said this was not an appropriate case for the refunding of Mr Jackson.

Mr Hedworth said it was not the prosecution fault that Paddy Jackson has lost his job.

He said he lost his job because the public became aware of details of his private life.

Those considerations, he said, should not bear upon us.

Mr Hedworth said it was like Mr Jackson was saying: "This has cost me a lot of money, please feel sorry for me."

Judge Patricia Smyth reserved judgment in the application, but said it would not be soon due to the pressure of work.