The story is fairly straightforward, man goes for massage, gropes therapist and is hauled into court. What any sensible man should have done would be to plead guilty, pay the fine and learn from the experience. This course of action is not apparent to a former member of parliament and ex-diplomat.
What ? Plead guilty? He does no such thing, he's a man of standing who is used to relying on his network power to get what he wants. He righteously decides to rely on his good character, so he goes to court, lies and then to top it off, has the sheer, brazen cheek to actually claim legal aid for his defence! The judge makes some very pertinent observations.
Judge Wide QC added: “It was a really nasty offence.
“When good character is relied upon in your case, it does help me to understand what sort of man you are.
“What you did was really bad. To get yourself off the hook, and for no other reason, you accused this completely blameless sensible and conscientious woman of having stolen from her employer by keeping the money and getting more out of you by then offering you extra special services.”
He said the woman masseur who worked as a beautician was “entirely respectable” as was the spa but Gunasekara made inappropriate remarks about her private life, asked her back to his hotel room, and then offered to read her palm as a means to get intimate with her.
When that failed he offered her money but when his advances were rejected, he lunged at her. Judge Wide said: “It was obviously very, very upsetting for her. She fled from the room in high distress, pushing the panic button as she went.”
The court heard despite claiming he only had a £100 a month to live off, he had £1,850 and $631 in cash, and £50 worth of traveller’s cheques when he was arrested for groping a masseur’s breast.
Yet despite the sums readily at hand he pleaded poverty and got legal aid to fight his case.
Gunasekara had travelled to the UK to visit his grandchildren when he groped the masseur’s breasts. In Sri Lankan he lives on a 25 acre estate complete with servants.
Judge Wide QC exploded with rage when he learnt of the legal aid funding adding: “The British public would be appalled to know they are paying for this man’s costs – one of Sri Lanka’s leading successful businessmen and government minister and ambassador to Poland and he say’s he’s got no money. ”I think it is a lie, I think it is one of a number of lies he told in this court. ”Frankly I don’t think the British public should pay a penny to this.” the Telegraph reported.
I share the judge's anger. I hope they lock him up for a good long time, he deserves it. Perhaps one step towards reforming the system of justice here would be to restore the right of appeal to the Privy Council in the UK?
Read the full story here.