A Crown prosecutor has made one last plea to the jury in Wallabies star Kurtley Beale’s sexual assault case following a marathon trial in Sydney.
Mr Beale, 35, is facing a jury trial at Sydney’s Downing Centre Court after pleading not guilty to sexual intercourse without consent and two counts of sexual touching.
Police allege Mr Beale groped a woman’s bottom at the Beach Road bar in Bondi on December 17, 2022, before forcing her into oral sex in the stall of the men’s bathroom.
About a month later, the 29-year-old put her allegations to Mr Beale in a secretly recorded phone call during which the rugby star said he “f**king misjudged the situation”.
Continuing his closing address on Thursday, Crown prosecutor Jeff Tunks told the jury that what “the accused says is something in general conversation might amount to a guilty conscience”.
“You might think he (Mr Beale) sounds worried, he sounds contrite, he sounds conciliatory and speaks to her in a calm way to hear her out,” Mr Tunks said.
“You might think generally he reflects and appears to be aware of the gravity of the situation. And, you might think at no stage does he seem to apportion any blame to her.”
Mr Tunks urged the jury during his two-day address to consider the evidence “holistically” despite contradictions in the woman’s evidence given in court.
“She tells people over the next few days about what she says happens. And, again, it’s clear she’s given different accounts about different aspects to different people,” he said.
“The effect of what she says happened to her on the night, if you accept that’s what did happen to her, may effect her that night, the next day – the way that she acted.”
In his address, Mr Tunks reminded the jury of evidence from the 29-year-old’s fiance, who told the court he woke the morning after to her “bawling her eyes out”.
Her father, meanwhile, said his daughter “looked distressed … in pain”, while her sister-in-law, in whom she confided about the allegations, said she was “frazzled”.
Mr Tunks took the jury through all three criminal charges on Thursday, including allegations Mr Beale spun the woman around in the stall and bent her over.
In her evidence, the woman told the jury that Mr Beale used his thumbs to bend her over and said “Do you want to f**k?” before she righted herself and left.
“There is nothing inadvertent or accidental that he grabs her this way and spins her around and bends her forward while his penis is still out of his pants,” Mr Tunks said.
On Wednesday, Mr Tunks urged the jury to consider the woman’s version of events while not having to accept all her evidence in court, stating she struck a “defiant” tone.
“If nothing else, you might think she was somewhat staunchly consistent in her assertions to you that she did not consent to any sexual activity with the accused,” he said.
Later, he added: “You might think she presented in cross-examination as a somewhat watchful and defiant witness. Perhaps, you might think, to the point of her being combative.”
The jury has been presented a wide range of evidence during the two-week trial, including evidence from the woman’s friends and family as well as CCTV footage.
For her part, Mr Beale’s lawyer, Margaret Cunneen SC, has argued that the woman consented to and was “in control” of the encounter, which she used to get sympathy.
In cross-examination, Ms Cunneen grilled the woman, her fiance, and her family over an argument between the pair throughout the week of the alleged assault.
The trial continues on Thursday.
Read related topics:Sydney