Danushka Gunatilleke trial day 02 : Woman grilled

September 19, 2023 at 10:02 AM

The judge-alone trial on the case against Sri Lanka cricketer Danushka Gunathilaka was taken up before the NSW District Court in Sydney, Australia today (Sep 19) for the 2nd consecutive day.

Gunathilaka has pleaded not guilty to one count of sexual intercourse without consent and “stealthing”, after being invited to the victim’s eastern Sydney home in November last year

The pair first met at Opera Bar, where CCTV footage shows them embracing as they meet, before having drinks together at the city and heading back to the woman’s home via ferry.

Continuing her evidence via audiovisual link, the woman was grilled by the cricketer’s barrister, Murugan Thangaraj SC, about the intimate moment.

The woman on Monday had told Crown Prosecutor Gabrielle Steedman that Mr Gunathilaka tried to persuade her not to use a condom.

But Mr Thangaraj insisted that wasn’t the case.

“He never said he did not want to wear a condom that night,” the barrister said on Tuesday.

“He never tried to persuade you to have unprotected sex.”

The alleged victim replied: “That is not correct”.

Mr Thangaraj pressed the women about her police statement, telling the court she wrote that Mr Gunathilaka had “one hand choking” her, while the other was “on the bed”.

He told the court the statement said Mr Gunathilaka then began to slap the woman’s buttocks.

“You agree he couldn’t have removed a condom while he was choking or slapping your buttocks,” he put to the woman.

He continued to grill the woman, saying his client would not have had any opportunity to take the condom off, as her statement said the sex “continued for about 10-15 minutes” in the same manner.

But the woman says there was opportunity for him to remove the condom, which she later saw was on the floor next to the bed.

“You don’t describe him throwing a condom or anything else do you,” Mr Thangaraj asked the woman.

“At no point did Mr Gunathilaka have unprotected penile and vaginal sex with you.”

The woman said this statement was “not correct” and was insistent Mr Gunathilaka had “taken the condom off and thrown it on the floor”.

The woman conceded to Mr Thangaraj that she could have gone home alone at any point in the night, but suggested the pair continue to drink at her house.

She earlier told the court Mr Gunathilaka had kissed her “forcefully” as they waited for a ferry, and also “slapped her buttocks quite hard.

When they arrived back at her house, the woman said she poured two glasses of wine before Mr Gunathilaka “pushed her back onto the couch” and forcefully kissed her again.

Mr Thangaraj questioned why the woman led the cricketer into her bedroom and lit candles.

“Your decision to lead him into the bedroom was a perfectly natural progression of the evening, wasn’t it?” the barrister asked.

“A tinder date, with pre planned drinks at your place after days of flirting, playing guitar, drinking wine, candles being lit by you in the bedroom, it was a perfectly natural movement from the lounge room to the bedroom.”

The woman disagreed with the suggestion.

The main issue in the trial is Mr Gunathilaka’s state of mind as to whether or not he removed the condom without the woman’s knowledge.

Ms Steedman told the court the woman had consented to protected sex.

The trial continues before Judge Huggett. (NEWS.COM.AU)