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.
Beale, 35, confronted a jury trial at Sydney’s Downing Centre Court docket after pleading not responsible to sexual activity with out consent and two counts of sexual touching.
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The jury rejected claims that Beale groped the lady’s backside on the Seaside Street bar on December 17, 2022, earlier than forcing her into oral intercourse within the males’s lavatory.
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 (Beale), she is placing phrases in his mouth. Mr Beale doesn’t lie, he didn’t lie.”
In her closing deal with, Cunneen centered on one of many key features of the trial: a secretly recorded cellphone name throughout which Beale first discovered of the accusations.
Within the name, the lady informed 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 state of affairs”.
Cunneen informed the jury on Thursday Beale’s studying of the state of affairs 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 completely different (within the name), Mr Beale says he should have misinterpret it,” she mentioned.
Earlier, she mentioned: “In fact there’s a responsible conscience, his spouse is aware of what’s occurring within the phone name. If you’re on the lookout for a responsible conscience, in fact you’ll discover it.
“However, if a responsible conscience is about one thing performed in marriage, that’s not superb and is nothing to do with a responsible thoughts a few critical prison offence.”
Critically, Cunneen mentioned the decision went to police not having proved one of many three parts of the offence, being that he would have identified the lady didn’t consent.
The jury had been additionally proven handwritten notes, which had been made by the lady earlier than the decision, wherein she wrote that its objective was to “persuade him he’s responsible and never harmless”.
In her deal with, 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” because of timing.
Throughout her proof, the lady vehemently denied Cunneen’s assertion she used the claims to realize sympathy from her fiance, with whom she’d had a critical argument.
Cunneen went on so as to add the lady was unable to concede disparities between her statements to police and admissions to her household, and the CCTV footage performed courtroom.
Notable within the defence case was the declare by the lady quickly after the evening that it was Beale that adopted her into the lavatory. The video proved in any other case.
The footage, performed in courtroom, captured the boozy evening on the well-liked Sydney bar, together with the 4 minutes and 30 seconds Beale and the lady spent collectively within the lavatory.
The jury had been informed each her and Beale had been intoxicated on the evening, however had been informed by Crown prosecutor Jeff Tunks they weren’t allowed to contemplate it.
For his half, Tunks informed the jury the lady had introduced as a “defiant” witness who was “considerably staunchly constant in her assertions”.
Tunk had inspired the jury to contemplate accepting components of the lady’s proof, with out having to just accept every little thing she mentioned in courtroom or to police and household.
The judgment marks the top of a gruelling multi-week trial for the jury, who deliberated for about one hour. They heard proof from the lady, her fiance, her household and her fiancés household.
Importantly, it marks the top of a one-year courtroom saga for Beale after he was stood down from the NSW Waratahs by Rugby Australia after his arrest in January 2023.
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