Sri Lankan cricketer Danushka Gunathilaka started crying in front of police while detailing a night on which he allegedly raped a Tinder date at her home in Sydney.
In a recorded police interview played during the 32-year-old’s judge-alone trial in Downing Centre District Court on Wednesday, the sportsman is seen struggling to speak, wiping his eyes with a tissue while giving his version of events of what happened.
He said he met the woman at the Opera Bar before going to get pizza in the Sydney CBD and returning to her home for drinks.
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After sex, he said the woman told him she had a special power where she could see past lives.
She allegedly closed her eyes and told him they were previously neighbours living in Thailand.
“After that, I got a bit scared. I don’t know why I got that feeling. And I thought she was a bit weird,” he told police.
The woman, who cannot be legally named, says Gunathilaka engaged in “stealthing” by removing his condom without her permission during sexual activity at her eastern suburbs home on November 2, 2022.
He has pleaded not guilty to one count of sexual intercourse without consent.
Earlier on Wednesday, his barrister Muragan Thangaraj SC grilled the two police officers who first spoke to the alleged victim on November 5, 2022.
He asked why Constable Katrina Lackerdis had only written notes of her conversation with the woman on scrap paper and had sent incomplete photos of this material by text to the constable who then met the alleged victim.
“You threw out the scrap piece of paper,” Thangaraj said.
“I shouldn’t have, but I did,” she replied, admitting this was a mistake.
In the notes, the officer only mentions oral sex but said sexual intercourse had been talked about over the phone.
“Where is that in your notes?” Thangaraj asked.
“It’s not anywhere that I can see, but I remember the conversation quite clearly,” she replied.
In the claims currently before the court, the woman alleges Gunathilaka removed the condom during sexual intercourse and not oral sex.
Lackerdis was also asked why she had told the alleged victim to personally bring clothing worn on the night to the police instead of waiting for crime scene officers to retrieve it from her home.
“Why are you allowing a complainant to touch material that might be forensically tested?” Thangaraj said.
“I don’t know,” the officer responded.
The case was then passed onto Constable Tayleh Gabriel, who saw the alleged victim in person and took a 37-page statement from her.
Gabriel admitted her notes of a phone call with Lackerdis only referred to oral sex specifically but said intercourse was also discussed.
“If Constable Lackerdis had told you that there was non-consensual sexual intercourse, you would have written that down,” Thangaraj asked.
“She did tell me,” Gabriel replied.
Gunathilaka was arrested in the early hours of November 6, 2022 in a lift at Sydney’s Hyatt Regency hours before the Sri Lankan cricket team was due to fly out.
Police examined his bags and room, seizing his iPhone and finding two unused condoms in a Burberry satchel bag.
The trial with Judge Sarah Huggett continues.
If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au.
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