A ‘creep’ who preyed on Norwegian exchange students at an Oxford nightclub has been warned he faces jail.

Jurors took more than eight hours to find Suranga Wijethunga guilty of sexually assaulting two young women at ATIK, Park End Street, in the early hours of November 30, 2019, and exposing himself to the foreign exchange students.

The 36-year-old, who in 2018 was acquitted of sexually assaulting another woman he’d met in a nightclub, claimed that he’d been drunk, was caught short and found himself urinating on the dancefloor.

“I was drunk, confused and I wished to pee,” he told the court while being cross-examined on the stand last week. He denied sexually assaulting the women or intentionally exposing himself.

Holding his hands over his face as the jury foreman announced the verdicts on Monday afternoon, Wijethunga cried: “I want to know, please, how I’m guilty? Please tell me how I’m guilty. Explain please.”

Recorder David Mayall adjourned the case for a probation service pre-sentence report, but warned Wijethunga’s barrister: “It is on the basis that is no indication whatsoever of the sentence which is likely to be passed.”

Wijethunga was bailed to return to court on March 10 for sentence. As the jury left court, the defendant said to the 12-strong panel: “Thank you for coming, anyway.”

During the week-long trial, the jury heard that the victims had been dancing in ATIK nightclub on the night of November 29/30 when one was approached from behind by Wijethunga, who groped her leg.

Later, another woman felt someone pressing into her back. When she reached behind her to push the person away, she felt the man’s privates in her hand.

Asked how he had reacted, the woman told the court via video link from Norway: “He reacted, well, by putting his equipment back into his pants; because I could see his hands fumbling around down there.”

CCTV from inside the nightclub showed her pushing him off the dancefloor and through security doors. The footage showed him apparently fiddling with his trousers.

Prosecutor William Eaglestone said: “We, the Crown, say that the evidence all together of the three young women, of the CCTV, of the staff in the nightclub, show what this man was doing.”

Closing his case to the jury on Thursday, defence barrister Jonathan Coode said: “I don’t know whether you think this is a bit of nonsense on the dancefloor or extremely serious. It is extremely serious to him.

“There must be in my respectful submission reasonable doubt in this case and if you find a reasonable doubt in this case or in these three cases, really, then please exercise that in favour of the defendant.”

Wijethunga, of St Paul’s Crescent, Botley, will be sentenced on March 10.

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