Australian court allows Cricketer Danushka Gunathilaka to move house

Danushka Gunathilaka

Mr. Gunathilaka was in Sydney for the T20 World Cup. Picture: NCA NewsWire / David Swift

Sri Lankan cricketer Danushka Gunathilaka will settle into life in Sydney after being accused of sexually assaulting a woman multiple times, a court has heard.

The 31-year-old appeared in Sydney Downing Centre Local Court on Friday after being charged with four counts of sexual intercourse without consent.

He asked the court for permission to move into a one-bedroom apartment while he wrestles with his lengthy legal battle ahead.

Police allege the international cricket star matched with a woman on a dating app and they had chatted a number of times before they met on November 2.

The pair had drinks in the city before they went back to the woman’s home in Sydney’s illustrious eastern suburbs around 11:00 p.m., according to a fact sheet tendered by police in opposition to a previous bail application.

According to police, Gunathilaka then ignored the woman’s request to “take it slow” and instead allegedly choked and assaulted the 29-year-old woman in her own home.

The upper-order batsman allegedly forced himself on top of the woman when the pair moved to the bedroom.

Police claim the woman was uncomfortable and agreed to continue with sexual activity only if Gunathilaka wore a condom.

“He protested, but eventually agreed,” police documents tendered to the court stated.

The court heard the woman later found the condom on the floor beside the bed.
Police allege the woman was “in shock” and did not consent to sex without a condom.

She again asked him to use a condom but he refused and forcefully engaged in sexual activity, according to police claims.

During the several hours he remained at the woman’s home, Gunathilaka allegedly choked the woman multiple times and slapped her on the buttocks.

The woman was “frozen and in shock” before the international cricketer asked her to order an Uber for him. He left her home just before 01:00 a.m.

The woman woke up the next morning with sore and swollen lips and called two friends to tell them about the incident.

She also contacted a counselling service and saw her doctor the morning after the alleged sexual assaults.

She told police she was unable to work because she “couldn’t stop crying”.

Gunathilaka has not entered pleas to the four charges of sexual assault.

On Friday, the court heard he wanted to change his bail conditions to allow him to live alone in Sydney after residing with a supporter.

“He’s not going to live with anyone. He’s found a one-bedroom apartment,” his lawyer Alen Sahinovic said.

The international cricket star was granted bail last month with strict restrictions which included a ban on using dating applications or his existing social media profiles.

He had been behind bars on remand for 11 days before being granted his conditional liberty.

The court heard the new address in Rhodes, in Sydney’s inner west, has a vibrant Sri Lankan community which would lessen the risk of Gunathilaka fleeing the country.

“If anything, it enhances Gunathilaka’s community ties,” Sahinovic said.

Moving into his own place would also allow the international cricketer to avoid “difficulties associated with the current residence”, the court heard.

Sahinovic argued the change would allow Gunathilaka to be more comfortable for “what will no doubt be a lengthy and difficult” legal battle.

The court heard the cricket star’s new home would “still be a significant distance” from the alleged victim’s home in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.

“It doesn’t seem to me that there’s any change in any relevant risk issues,” Magistrate Clare Farnan said.

She granted the bail variation and adjourned the matter until January 12, when Gunathilaka will return to court.

The Sri Lankan national surrendered his passport and cannot approach any international departure point as a provision of his bail.

He was ordered to report to police every day and to abide by a nightly curfew.
The cricketer’s bail was backed by a $150,000 surety provided by a “friend of a friend” and a further $50,000 to be provided by the cricketer.

(The Australian)