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Beale’s trial delayed before accuser gives evidence

A woman is expected to give evidence about her interactions with Kurtley Beale at a Bondi pub.

A woman is expected to give evidence about her interactions with Kurtley Beale at a Bondi pub. Photo: AAP

The jury deciding whether rugby star Kurtley Beale groped and sexually assaulted a woman at a pub will have to wait to hear her allegations.

The woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was due to give evidence on Wednesday, but the NSW District Court trial has been adjourned because of an illness among the jury.

The trial is set to resume on Monday.

Crown prosecutor Jeff Tunks on Tuesday said he expected the woman to tell Beale’s trial about her interactions with him at the Beach Road Hotel at Bondi Beach in Sydney’s eastern suburbs in December 2022.

She is expected to say Beale touched her buttocks in the public area of the bar before he allegedly grabbed the back of her head and placed his penis in her mouth inside a cubicle in the men’s bathroom.

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.

Beale’s barrister Margaret Cunneen SC told the jury on Tuesday there was no force involved.

“What happened was not only entirely consensual, but in fact … it was instigated by (her),” she said.

Cunneen reminded the jury Beale was entitled to the presumption of innocence, urging it to consider the woman’s honesty and reliability when she gives evidence.

The jury viewed a digital map of the venue created by forensic officers in August, showing the inside of the bathroom where the alleged non-consensual oral intercourse was said to have occurred.

A compilation of CCTV footage exceeding two hours was played to the jury, capturing one of the alleged instances of sexual touching said to have occurred in the public bar area.

“It is most important for you to interpret and make up your own mind about what you see in the footage,” Tunks told the jury before the footage was played.

Cunneen argued it was “not a criminal sexual touching” in the circumstances of a group that had been repeatedly touching and holding each other throughout the night.

She said Beale was “affectionately touching” two people.

1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732)

National Sexual Abuse and Redress Support Service 1800 211 028

– AAP

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