CCTV to show Beale’s alleged grope before sex assault

Beale pleads not guilty (file)

Footage showing Wallabies star Kurtley Beale allegedly groping a woman at a pub before sexually assaulting her in a bathroom will be played to a jury as he fights the accusations.

More than an hour of recorded CCTV from the Beach Road Hotel near Bondi Beach is expected to be played to the NSW District Court jury hearing the case on Tuesday.

Beale denies groping and sexually assaulting the woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, in December 2022.

The 35-year-old rugby union star has pleaded not guilty to one count of sexual intercourse without consent and two counts of sexual touching.

The trial is expected to sit for the next three weeks with a jury of seven women and five men hearing opening addresses from the prosecution and defence on Tuesday.

Crown prosecutor Jeff Tunks was forced to restart his opening address when Judge Graham Turnbull spotted only 11 jurors in the box.

Resuming with the required 12, Tunks alleged Beale touched the woman on the buttocks in a public area of the bar before non-consensual oral intercourse occurred in a cubicle in the men’s bathroom.

The primary issue in the trial will be whether or not the woman consented, the prosecutor told the jury.

Diagrams including a digital map of the venue where the alleged offences occurred, CCTV footage from the night and intercepted telephone conversations in its aftermath will be put before the jury to judge alongside witness evidence, he said.

One of the sexual touching charges was captured on CCTV in the main bar area, Tunks said.

“It is most important for you to interpret and make up your own mind about what you see in the footage,” he said.

The complainant was expected to tell the court that Beale touched her buttock under her clothing in the bar area.

She pushed his hand away and told him to stop but did not react further to avoid causing a scene, Tunks said he expected the woman to say.

The pair interacted again a short time later and the footage would show the woman following Beale into the men’s bathroom, Tunks said.

He expects the woman to describe Beale grabbing the back of her head before placing his penis in her mouth, saying words to the effect of “come on, let’s f—” and trying to bend her over from behind in one of the cubicles.

Hotel staff who entered the bathroom during the alleged encounter are also expected to give evidence of observing a man and a woman in a cubicle together, Tunks said.

Beale’s barrister Margaret Cunneen SC said the footballer was an innocent man and the prosecution had to prove otherwise beyond a reasonable doubt.

“There is a quite different version of events of which you will become aware in this case,” she said.

Cunneen said whatever occurred on the night was consensual and she would argue the events had been instigated by the complainant, reiterating the CCTV footage would show the woman following Beale into the bathroom.

“The defence case is the complainant did consent and certainly Mr Beale at all times genuinely believed she was consenting,” she said.

The Waratahs and Wallabies back has made 95 appearances for Australia, as well as playing for English club Wasps and French Top 14 team Racing 92.

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National Sexual Abuse and Redress Support Service 1800 211 028


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