Wallabies star Kurtley Beale has been discovered not responsible of allegations he sexually assaulted a girl within the lavatory of a Bondi bar after a gruelling two-week trial.
Mr Beale, 35, confronted a jury trial at Sydney’s Downing Centre Courtroom after pleading not responsible to sexual activity with out consent and two counts of sexual touching.
The jury rejected claims that Mr Beale groped the girl’s backside on the Seaside Street bar on December 17, 2022, earlier than forcing her into oral intercourse within the males’s lavatory.
Hand-in-hand with spouse Maddi, the 35-year-old advised reporters exterior of court docket he was glad the “reality has come out”, greater than a yr after he first charged.
“I’ve at all times maintained my innocence. My household and I’ve suffered a horrible yr,” he mentioned.
His lawyer advised the media “justice had been served”.
Mr Beale stayed nonetheless whereas seated within the dock because the jury learn out their verdicts for the primary two costs. Upon the third and closing matter, he dropped his head.
Barrister Margaret Cunneen SC claimed the 29-year-old girl had consented to and been “in management” of the encounter and had made the allegations to realize sympathy.
“I don’t shrink from suggesting she is a manipulative girl who curated circumstances of the evening to show the tables, to show herself right into a sufferer,” she mentioned on Thursday.
She later added: “It is a girl who’s an excellent actress. She is manipulating (Mr Beale), she is placing phrases in his mouth. Mr Beale doesn’t lie, he didn’t lie.”
In her closing handle, Ms Cunneen targeted on one of many key facets of the trial: a secretly recorded telephone name throughout which Mr Beale first realized of the accusations.
Within the name, the girl advised Mr Beale she had not consented to the sexual act. At first, he mentioned the pair “connected”, earlier than admitting he had “f*****g misjudged the scenario”.
Ms Cunneen advised the jury on Thursday Mr Beale ‘s studying of the scenario on the evening – earlier than the decision – was that the sexual act within the lavatory stall was “all consensual”.
“He genuinely believed she had given and communicated consent … When she spoke one thing totally different (within the name), Mr Beale says he will need to have misinterpret it,” she mentioned.
Earlier, she mentioned: “After all there’s a responsible conscience, his spouse is aware of what’s happening within the phone name. If you’re on the lookout for a responsible conscience, after all you’ll discover it.
“However, if a responsible conscience is about one thing performed in marriage, that’s not preferrred and is nothing to do with a responsible thoughts a few severe legal offence”.
Critically, Ms Cunneen mentioned the decision went to police not having proved one in all three parts of the offence, being that he would have recognized the girl didn’t consent.
The jury had been additionally proven handwritten notes, which had been made by the girl earlier than the decision, wherein she wrote that its function was to “persuade him he’s responsible and never harmless”.
In her handle, Ms Cunneen dismissed the groping cost as being “blink and also you miss it”, and mentioned an alleged second act within the lavatory stall was “absurd” as a consequence of timing.
Throughout her proof, the girl vehemently denied Ms Cunneen’s assertion she used the claims to realize sympathy from her fiance, with whom she’d had a severe argument.
Ms Cunneen went on so as to add the girl was unable to concede disparities between her statements to police and admissions to her household, and the CCTV footage performed court docket.
Notable within the defence case was the declare by the girl quickly after the evening that it was Mr Beale that adopted her into the lavatory. The video proved in any other case.
The footage, performed in court docket, captured the boozy evening on the standard Sydney bar, together with the 4 minutes and 30 seconds Mr Beale and the girl spent collectively within the lavatory.
The jury had been advised each her and Mr Beale had been intoxicated on the evening, however had been advised by Mr Tunks they weren’t allowed to contemplate it.
For his half, Crown prosecutor Jeff Tunks advised the jury the girl had offered as a “defiant” witness who was “considerably staunchly constant in her assertions”.
Mr Tunk had inspired the jury to contemplate accepting components of the girl’s proof, with out having to just accept the whole lot she mentioned in court docket or to police and household.
The judgment marks the tip of a gruelling multi-week trial for the jury, who deliberated for about one hour. They heard proof from the girl, her fiance, her household and her fiancés household.
Importantly, it marks the tip of one-year court docket saga for Mr Beale after he was stood down from the NSW Waratahs by Rugby Australia after his arrest in January 2023.
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