Hayne’s wife cries as bail hearing unfolds

Hayne found guilty of sexual assault

Jarryd Hayne is too high-profile to go to jail just yet after being found guilty on two rape counts, his lawyer argues.

His wife faces the prospect of continuing to live off her husband’s savings from his successful sporting career when he eventually does enter custody, whether on Thursday or a later date.

Hayne’s barrister Margaret Cunneen SC called the ex-NRL star’s wife Amellia to the witness box in the NSW District Court on Thursday and argued there were special or exceptional circumstances that should keep the footballer out of jail until he is sentenced.

Hayne, 35, was found guilty on Tuesday of two counts of sexual intercourse without consent after sexually assaulting a woman on the night of the 2018 NRL grand final.

Mrs Hayne cried on Friday, when asked if she and Hayne, who have been married since 2021, had three children.

She was asked what the next few weeks would mean for her and her family without her husband around.

“I can’t even put that into words,” she said.

She told the court the family had been “living off my husband’s savings” as he has had no paid employment since being charged. They would continue to do so while Hayne is in custody, she said.

The two-time Dally M Medal winner needed to be around to support and physically protect his family as they moved out of Sydney before he returned to jail, Ms Cunneen told the judge.

“It would be so oppressive to take this man from his family while those arrangements are made,” Ms Cunneen said.

The woman Hayne assaulted in her suburban Newcastle bedroom cannot be identified.

A taxi waited outside as he played the woman songs on a laptop and watched the end of the grand final with her mother before performing nonconsensual oral and digital sex on the woman for about 30 seconds. After that, they cleaned blood off themselves and Hayne continued on his journey to Sydney.

Ms Cunneen said special or exceptional circumstances, including “unrelenting media pressure” on her famous client’s case and the need to support his family, should continue Hayne’s bail.

She argued to Judge Graham Turnbull that the circumstances in Hayne’s case would prevent the judge being bound by recent changes to the bail act, which aims for people found guilty who will be going to prison to be taken into custody before they are sentenced.

“He’s going to jail,” Judge Turnbull clarified.

Reports will need to be prepared before Hayne is sentenced and the judge is considering whether Hayne should be allowed to remain at large until then.

“This particular offender would be a target in the general prison population,” Ms Cunneen said.

“My problem at the moment is he’s not going in as a sentenced prisoner, he’s going in as a remand prisoner,” the judge said.

Crown prosecutor John Sfinas said that happened all the time and the special or exceptional circumstances raised by Ms Cunneen were not covered by the legislation.

“All it comes down to is the offender is a high-profile footballer,” Crown prosecutor John Sfinas said.

The trial beginning in March was Hayne’s third on charges laid in November 2018 following a referral to police by the NRL integrity unit.

Hayne previously spent nine months in prison after a jury in his second trial found him guilty, a verdict overturned on appeal due to “profoundly wrong” legal directions.

The jury in the first trial was discharged after being unable to reach a verdict.


Topics: Jarryd Hayne
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