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Danushka’s lawyer criticises delays in court proceedings

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A lawyer for Sri Lankan cricketer Danushka Gunathilaka has slammed lengthy delays in the court proceedings. Sydney Downing Centre Local Court was told on Thursday that the Crown had not yet served a brief of evidence on defence despite the cricketer being charged months ago. The delays come as the international cricket star is facing a lengthy legal battle in a foreign country.

Police allege Mr Gunathilaka matched with a woman on a dating app while he was in Sydney for the T20 World Cup last year. He allegedly chatted with the woman a number of times online 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 eastern suburbs about 11pm, according to police. Mr Gunathilaka allegedly ignored the woman’s request to “take it slow” and instead choked and assaulted the 29-year-old woman in her own home,

according to a fact sheet tendered by police at a previous hearing. The top 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 Mr Gunathilaka wore a condom.

“He protested but eventually agreed,” police allege in the court documents The woman told police she 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 instead forcefully engaged in sexual activity, according to police claims.

During the several hours he remained at the woman’s home, Mr 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 1am. The alleged victim told police she was sore and swollen and unable to work the next day because she “couldn’t stop crying”. Mr Gunathilaka has not entered pleas to the four charges of sexual assault. His lawyer Alen Sahinovic told the court that the Crown had not served any brief of evidence on his team. He criticised the delays and asked the court to order the Crown to serve

the working brief within a week. The prosecutor admitted the brief was not yet compliant.

Magistrate Derek Price ordered the brief to be handed over by late January, with the matter returning to court on February 23. The delay comes less than a month after a court was told the Sri Lankan cricketer was settling into life in Sydney while participating in the lengthy legal proceedings .

The 31-year-old was granted leave to move into a one-bedroom apartment in Sydney’s inner west before the festive break. He previously surrendered his passport and has been ordered not to approach any international departure point as a provision of his bail. The Sri Lankan national was ordered to report to police every day and abide by a nightly curfew. Mr Gunathilaka’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. (Agencies)

Friday, January 13, 2023 – 01:00

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