Jarryd Hayne: Former NRL star to learn fate next week

Jarryd Hayne will on Monday learn his fate as he fights to have his rape conviction quashed by the Court of Criminal Appeal.

D-Day has arrived for Jarryd Hayne.

The former NRL star will on Monday learn his fate as he fights to have his rape conviction quashed and be freed from prison.

Hayne, 33, was last year convicted of the sexual assault of a woman at her Newcastle home on NRL grand final night in 2018.

He launched an appeal against his conviction, claiming a NSW District Court jury was given flawed directions and there were inconsistencies in the evidence.

The Court of Criminal Appeal will on Monday hand down its judgment, which will decide whether his convictions are quashed, he faces a retrial or he serves his prison term.

Hayne was sentenced to five years and nine months jail, with a non-parole period of three years and eight months, after being found guilty in March last year.

He has persistently maintained his innocence and claimed that he engaged in consensual sexual acts.

His barrister Tim Game argued that the three judges who heard the appeal – Chief Justice Tom Bathurst and justices Ian Harrison and Helen Wilson – ought to acquit Hayne or order he be released and the matter be the subject of a retrial.

The latter would mean Hayne would face a third trial after the first in Newcastle late in 2020 ended in a hung jury.

Following a second trial in March last year, a jury took three days to find him guilty of two counts of sexual assault.

Hayne has spent the last nine months in prison after a jury found him guilty of performing oral and digital sex on the woman without her consent.

The jury accepted the woman’s version of events that she repeatedly said “no” and “no Jarryd”.

She told the jury that in the weeks leading up to September 2018, she had exchanged sometimes explicit social media messages with the football star.

She says that on the night when they finally met up at her Fletcher home, which she shared with her mother, she did not consent to any sexual contact with Hayne because of the presence of a cab outside.

Hayne was in town for a two-day buck’s party for a former teammate when he agreed to stop by the woman’s home on the way back to Sydney.

They were interrupted after she heard beeping outside and looked out onto her front lawn to see a taxi waiting to take Hayne back to Sydney.

She said at that point her “heart dropped” because “I felt like he had only come there for one thing”.

Hayne went out to speak to the driver but returned, only after making a detour to the loungeroom to watch the closing stages of the Sydney Roosters’ grand final win with the woman’s mother.

The woman told the court that he forced her jeans off, despite her efforts to pull them up, saying “no” and “stop”.

He caused two lacerations to her genitalia but maintained that the injuries were an accident and he apologised.

After washing himself of blood in the ensuite bathroom, Hayne promptly left.

“I know I’ve talked about sex and stuff so much but I didn’t want to do that after knowing the taxi was waiting for you,” she told him in a text.

“I thought you would have at least stayed. I am hurting really badly. I told my mum you got a nose bleed but I’m sitting here in my room crying because I feel weird.”

Hayne replied: “Go doctor tomorrow.”

She sat on her bed, texting a friend: “He started being really pushy like he wanted to have sex and I kept saying no.

“He ended up getting his hand down there and taking my pants off.”

Mr Game argued before the Court of Appeal that her words in that text did not accord with her evidence that she repeatedly said “no” and “stop”.

“We say putting his hands down there is quite different to the account she gave that in a single movement he ripped her pants off,” Mr Game said.

“She also says ‘I wanted to but I didn’t’. It’s difficult to see how that fits with ‘no, no, no’.”

Mr Game also pointed to the directions that Judge Helen Syme gave to the jury when instructing them on the legal principles that they would decide upon.

According to Hayne’s barrister, she used words like “might” and “may” when she should have used “beyond a reasonable doubt”.

Mr Game would go on to describe the directions as “flawed in almost every possible way”.

The decision will not only determine whether Hayne remains in prison, it will also have implications for his legacy with the NRL. It has said it will make a decision on whether to take back his Dally M Medal after the outcome of his appeal.

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