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News

Gunathilaka's bail conditions relaxed by Sydney magistrate

He has been living in Sydney since being granted bail in November, and his case is expected to return to court in April

Danushka Gunathilaka poses for a picture ahead of the 2022 T20 World Cup, Melbourne, October 12, 2022

Danushka Gunathilaka poses for a picture ahead of the 2022 T20 World Cup  •  ICC via Getty Images

Danushka Gunathilaka's bail conditions were relaxed by a Sydney magistrate on Thursday, now allowing him to use the WhatsApp messaging service and go out at night.
He has been living in Sydney since being granted bail in November, but was not allowed to access social media unless in the company of his legal team, and also had to adhere to a night-time curfew.
Magistrate Jennifer Atkinson did prohibit him from using WhatsApp "for the purposes of facilitating or managing dating," however. Gunathilaka is facing four charges of sexual intercourse without consent, after a woman he met off the dating app Tinder, accused him of choking her without consent, and stealthing, among other offences. He had subsequently been arrested at the team hotel on November 6 while the T20 World Cup event was ongoing in Australia. Gunathilaka has not yet entered a plea in these proceedings.
In this most recent hearing, crown prosecutor George Rixon argued the night-time curfew was needed to mitigate the risk of offending based on the alleged facts of the complainant's statement, specifically, Gunathilaka's "aggressive sexual behaviour" against her.
But magistrate Atkinson said she was "not satisfied today that it is necessary to keep the curfew in place", and that "there's nothing unique about [the alleged offences] that it would have occurred at night and couldn't occur during the day".
Though acknowledging that Gunathilaka had been fully compliant with the bail conditions thus far, the magistrate did warn that Gunathilaka would spend many months in custody waiting for a trial or sentencing if he breached bail. His case is expected to return to court in April.
Gunathilaka had travelled to Australia as part of the team's T20 World Cup squad, before being ruled out with a hamstring complaint early in the tournament. He had remained with the injury-hit squad as a backup, with his hamstring - at the time - expected to heal quickly.
Sri Lanka Cricket has footed his legal bill but may expect to recover them from Gunathilaka.