Wallabies star Kurtley Beale’s accuser’s ‘combative’ and ‘forthright’ evidence following alleged assault at popular pub in Sydney’s east

A jury has been urged to accept a woman’s ‘challenging’ and ‘straightforward’ evidence as Wallabies star Kurtley Beale’s grueling two-week sexual assault trial comes to a close.

Beale, 35, faces a jury trial in Sydney’s Downing Center Court after pleading not guilty to having sex without consent and two counts of sexual touching.

Police allege Beale groped the woman’s bottom at the Beach Road bar in Bondi on December 17, 2022, before forcing her to perform oral sex in the men’s bathroom stall.

In his closing argument, state prosecutor Jeff Tunks urged the jury to consider the 29-year-old’s version of events while not having to accept all of her testimony in court.

“You can believe what a witness said about one thing but not another, or accept that they are wrong about one thing but not about another,” Mr. Tunks told the jury.

‘You might think in the circumstances of giving evidence, in this environment, that she presented as a person who was trying her best to give an accurate, truthful account of events.

Kurtley Beale's grueling two-week sexual assault trial nears end at Sydney's Downing Center Magistrates' Court

Kurtley Beale’s grueling two-week sexual assault trial nears end at Sydney’s Downing Center Magistrates’ Court

Kurtley Beale, 35, pleaded not guilty to sexual intercourse without consent

Kurtley Beale, 35, pleaded not guilty to sexual intercourse without consent

“If nothing else, you may think she was somewhat doggedly consistent in her assertions to you that she did not consent to any sexual activity with the accused.”

Mr. Tunks described the woman in her testimony and cross-examination as never making concessions about her alleged lack of consent and as being ‘defiant’.

“I can’t imagine what Ms Cunneen says about her attitude to you, but at least she put it in a somewhat defiant tone,” Mr Tunks said.

‘You can imagine she presented in cross-examination as a somewhat vigilant and challenging witness. Perhaps, you think, to the point of her being combative.’

Mr Tunks told the jury the onus would be on the Crown to prove Beale knew she was not consenting to sexual activity or was reckless as to whether or not she was consenting to sexual activity.

During his closing speech, which began on Wednesday afternoon, Mr. Tunks reviewed aspects of both the Crown and defense cases that arose in court.

The jury was again shown CCTV footage from the evening which, according to the Crown, showed Mr. Beale placed his hand on the woman’s lower back and then her bottom.

‘What do we see here? He (Mr. Beale) has just met her and what is he doing? Invite himself to touch her,’ mr. Tunks said after showing the video to the jury.

‘The Crown case is that he…was probably reckless as to whether or not she consented and did it anyway. The fact that he was drunk cannot be taken into account.’

The woman was pressed under cross-examination about the state of her relationship with her fiance, who was present that evening and gave evidence.

Following questions from Beale’s barrister, Margaret Cunneen SC, the woman denied allegations that she had used the allegations to gain ‘sympathy’ from her partner.

For his part, the fiance admitted in court that he had been curt in text messages exchanged between the two that day, telling Ms Cunneen he ‘was a na**ehole’.

Beale's accuser (29) was described in court as 'defiant' and 'combative'

Beale’s accuser (29) was described in court as ‘defiant’ and ‘combative’

“If that’s the basis for her to go and invite sexual urges with another man because ‘I’ll show him (the fiance)’, that’s a matter for you,” Mr. Tunks told the jury.

Mr. Tunks also took the jury through the woman’s account of the first meeting with Beale the night they discussed the rugby star’s wedding.

In her evidence, the woman claimed Beale was ‘desperate’ and ‘forceful’ when she pleaded for sex before he barged into her in the bathroom stall.

She told the jury that she repeatedly told Mr Beale ‘no’ and that he was ‘married and I’m engaged’. The pair were seen on CCTV entering and leaving the bathroom.

For her part, Ms Cunneen claimed in court that the woman consented to and was ‘in control’ of the alleged encounter.

Over the course of the trial, the jury heard evidence from a range of witnesses as well as a secretly recorded call in which Beale admitted he ‘f**king misjudged the situation’.

Beale’s barrister Margaret Cunneen, SC, previously told the jury that unless they were satisfied beyond reasonable doubt the woman was an honest and accurate witness, regarding her account, ‘you can never convict Kurtley Beale ‘.

Cunneen is due to deliver her closing speech on Thursday, with deliberations expected to begin on Friday.