Sri Lankan international cricketer Danushka Gunathilaka has been granted bail on sexual assault charges after a court heard he had the support of the Sri Lankan cricket association and government and a surety of $150,000 was offered.
The 31-year-old was arrested in the early hours of November 6 at the Hyatt Regency hotel on Sussex Street before his team flew home without him following their Twenty20 World Cup loss to England.
He 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, days after they matched on Tinder. No pleas have been entered.
Gunathilaka had 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 matter reappeared on the Local Court list on Thursday, when defence barrister Murugan Thangaraj, SC, applied for Gunathilaka’s release.
The parties told the court there was no issue arising related to section 74 of the Bail Act, which prohibits additional applications being made to the same court after bail is refused “unless there are grounds for a further release application”.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Kerry-Ann McKinnon 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 in prison-issued green tracksuit and wearing socks and thongs.
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.
McKinnon said the woman was being “harassed by unknown people with Sri Lankan names through her social media” and had to shut it down.
( curtesy The Sunday Morning Herald)