Danushka Gunatilake: Court grants permission for new request

(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – Sri Lankan cricketer Danushka Gunathilaka will settle into life in Sydney after being accused of sexually assaulting a woman multiple times, a court has heard.

The 31-year-old appeared in Sydney Downing Centre Local Court on Friday after being charged with four counts of sexual intercourse without consent.

He asked the court for permission to move into a one-bedroom apartment while he wrestles with his lengthy legal battle ahead.

On Friday, the court heard he wanted to change his bail conditions to allow him to live alone in Sydney after residing with a supporter.

“He’s not going to live with anyone. He’s found a one-bedroom apartment,” his lawyer Alen Sahinovic said.

The international cricket star was granted bail last month with strict restrictions which included a ban on using dating applications or his existing social media profiles.

He had been behind bars on remand for 11 days before being granted his conditional liberty.

The court heard the new address in Rhodes, in Sydney’s inner west, has a vibrant Sri Lankan community which would lessen the risk of Mr Gunathilaka fleeing the country.

Moving into his own place would also allow the international cricketer to avoid “difficulties associated with the current residence”, the court heard.

Mr Sahinovic argued the change would allow Mr Gunathilaka to be more comfortable for “what will no doubt be a lengthy and difficult” legal battle.

The court heard the cricket star’s new home would “still be a significant distance” from the alleged victim’s home in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.

“It doesn’t seem to me that there’s any change in any relevant risk issues,” Magistrate Clare Farnan said.

She granted the bail variation and adjourned the matter until January 12, when Mr Gunathilaka will return to court.

The Sri Lankan national surrendered his passport and cannot approach any international departure point as a provision of his bail.

He was ordered to report to police every day and to abide by a nightly curfew.

The cricketer’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. (The Advertiser)

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