Danushka Gunathilaka granted bail in sexual assault case


Sri Lankan cricketer Danushka Gunathilaka was on Thursday granted bail by an Australian court in the sexual assault charges. Gunathilaka, who had the support of the Sri Lankan Cricket Association and government, offered a surety of Aus $163,500 to get the bail.

The 31-year-old cricketer was assented on November 6 at the Hyatt Regency hotel here before he was to fly back home with the team following their T20 World Cup defeat to England.

Gunathilaka has been charged with four counts of sexual intercourse without consent after allegedly sexually assaulting a 29-year-old woman in Sydney’s eastern suburbs on November 2. The Sri Lankan cricketer is alleged to have got in touch with the woman over dating app Tinder.

According to media reports in Australia, no plea has been entered in the case during Thursday’s hearing.

Gunathilaka has spent 11 nights in custody after he was refused bail in Downing Centre Local Court on November 7. His lawyers have made a bail application in the NSW Supreme Court, which was listed to be heard on December 8.

However, the media reported that the matter reappeared in the Local Court list on Thursday, when defence barrister Murugan Thangaraj, SC, applied for Gunathilaka’s release.

Police prosecutor said they accepted the material before the court, including new proposed bail conditions, allowed the applicant to make a secondary application.

Gunathilaka appeared via video link from Parklea Correctional Centre, the reports said.

The media reported that the police had argued there were two unacceptable risks: that the accused would fail to appear and that he would endanger the safety of the complainant.

T police prosecutor informed the court that the alleged victim was being “harassed by unknown people with Sri Lankan names through her social media” and had to shut it down.

The prosecutor argued Gunathilaka would also remember the complainant’s address.

Thangaraj submitted that his client was “being supported by a Sri Lankan cricket association and (the) Sri Lankan government”.

“If he breaches his bail, of course his career would be over,” he said.

News Desk

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