Cricket Star Danushka Gunathilaka’s Assault Case Questioned Over Unconventional Police Documentation

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The court case involving allegations of sexual assault against international cricket personality Danushka Gunathilaka has come under scrutiny, following a police officer’s confession that she documented the allegation on scrap paper, which was subsequently discarded.

Gunathilaka, known globally for his cricketing prowess, is currently embroiled in a criminal trial before the Downing Centre District Court. The Sri Lankan star has maintained his innocence, pleading not guilty to a single count of non-consensual sexual assault.

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The charge stems from an incident in November of the previous year, in which Gunathilaka allegedly engaged in ‘stealthing’ – secretly removing a condom during intercourse – with a woman in her eastern Sydney residence. Their initial encounter transpired at the Opera Bar, adjacent to the Sydney Opera House, where security footage revealed their mutual embrace upon meeting. Subsequently, the duo shared drinks in the city before returning to the woman’s home via ferry.

Gabrielle Steedman, representing the Crown, informed the court on Wednesday that the woman, after discussing the incident with her friends, finally decided to lodge a police report on November 5.

The initial complaint was recorded by Constable Katrina Lackerdis of the Rose Bay Police Station. Lackerdis admitted in court that she had documented the occurrence on scraps of paper as she didn’t have her official police notebook on hand at that time.

Delineating the victim’s account, Lackerdis informed the court, “I recall the (alleged) victim telling me within a short amount of time the accused proceeded to aggressively kiss, push, slap and bite her.”

She further admitted to taking photographs of her handwritten notes and sending them to another officer assigned to investigate the case.

Not surprisingly, this unconventional documentation witnessed intensive cross-examination by Gunathilaka’s counsel, Murugan Thangaraj SC. Thangaraj questioned the officer about the importance of appropriately recording such incidents.

“I shouldn’t have but I did,” conceded Constable Lackerdis, referring to her disposal of the scrap paper notes, likely at the end of her shift.

Thangaraj was relentless in his pursuit, reminding the constable of police procedure which necessitates ‘proper’ note-taking, especially when handling public complaints.

However, in her defense, Lackerdis affirmed that her priority was to capture accurate, real-time notes, despite the unconventional medium of documentation.

Comparetively, Tuesday’s court session saw messages enlisted between the alleged victim and her friends, describing Gunathilaka’s abrupt behavioral shift during intercourse.

Nonetheless, the bone of contention remains Gunathilaka’s mindset during the act and whether he did, in fact, remove the condom without the woman’s consent.

Thangaraj insisted that his client couldn’t have engaged in unprotected sex without mutual agreement, insisting on the lack of opportunity for his client to remove the condom. On the other hand, the prosecution argues that the woman only gave consent for protected sexual intercourse.

As the trial moves forward, it will continue under the watchful eye of Judge Huggett.