Bestiality images seized from doctor's computer, wife on trial for alleged murder

Jessica Millward

Bestiality images were seized from the computer of deceased Geraldton doctor Dinendra Athukorala, and the search terms ‘rape’, ‘dog’, lesbian’ and ‘sex’ were commonly used to download hundreds of pornographic videos and images.

Digital forensics and data discovery analyst Dr Richard Adams gave evidence of these findings on day 14 of the Supreme Court trial of doctor Chamari Liyanage, who is accused of murdering her husband with a heavy mallet on June 24, 2014.

Forensic psychiatrist Dr Stephen Patchett also gave evidence for the defence, and told the jury Dr Liyanage’s demeanour during the triple 000 call made by her on the morning her husband died, indicated she may have been coming out of an automated state.

Automatism is a state of impaired consciousness, accompanied by amnesia, where a person may commit an unconscious and unwilled act.

He said automatism was usually triggered by a psychological blow — something “overwhelming, sudden and unexpected”.

He said in the case of Dr Liyanage it could have been a piece of information she received that was significant or relevant to her.

Doctor Chamari Liyanage is accused of murdering her husband with a heavy mallet on June 24, 2014.

“Automatism is a distinct possibility because we don’t know what was said or done in that room (that night),” he said.

In her interview with police, Dr Liyanage said she was in bed studying for an exam before her husband told her to go to sleep on the night of June 23, 2014.

Her next recollection is of waking up, staring at her husband and seeing blood.

She called emergency services to the Shenton Street unit on June 24, 2014, about 6.15am.

Dr Patchett said Dr Liyanage’s confusion as to whether there were any children in the house, and whether she had any children, in her conversation with the triple 000 operator showed uncertainty of a “fundamental” fact and suggested her consciousness was impaired.

He told the jury consciousness was a hierarchy of levels, and when an individual was in an automated state the higher functions of reasoning and volition were impaired.

He said Dr Liyanage was in a constant state of anxiety in the past few months before her husband died, and felt stress and fear every night, triggered by interactions with him.

He said she also experienced flash-backs during waking hours, in which she relived her experiences of domestic violence.

Dr Athukorala forced his wife to take part in threesomes with other women, including a 17-year-old girl, and inflicted mental and physical abuse.

Dr Liyanage contemplated suicide on three occasions, once in 2010 and twice in 2013.

On one occasion she took an overdose of Panadeine, but vomited up the tablets.

The trial in Geraldton continues.