‘Never ending nightmare’ as Hayne approaches sentence

Jarryd Hayne awaits sentencing for rape

The woman Jarryd Hayne sexually assaulted says she is living a never-ending nightmare almost five years later as he awaits a jail sentence.

The 35-year-old disgraced former NRL star will be sentenced on Friday after being found guilty of two counts of sexual intercourse without consent following a third trial in April.

Crown prosecutor John Sfinas read a victim impact statement on Monday from the woman, who cannot be identified, as lawyers made submissions ahead of sentence.

She said her life had been “launched into what feels like a never-ending nightmare” in the almost five years since the assault, something she had been unable to move on from or feel any sense of peace about.

“I am stronger and I am wiser but I am damaged, and I won’t ever be the same person,” she said in her statement.

Hayne appeared before a packed courtroom in prison greens, sitting in the dock opposite supporters who were asked to sit in the jury box due to capacity restrictions.

Hayne spent almost an hour in the woman’s home on the night of the 2018 NRL grand final and assaulted her for only 30 seconds using his hands and mouth, his barrister Margaret Cunneen SC said.

“In the context, the nature of the sexual offences is relevant and it is a matter tending towards less serious,” Ms Cunneen said.

The judge who sentenced Hayne last time he was found guilty over the same offending was “not as fully apprised” of the evidence as NSW District Court Judge Graham Turnbull following a third trial, she said.

Judge Turnbull said he would not rely on the previous judgment in his decision.

He was also unlikely to find any mitigating, or aggravating circumstances in Hayne’s offending, he said.

“There are often very significant aggravating features,” the judge noted.

The Crown has accepted the judge could reduce Hayne’s sentence due to extra-curial punishment and public opprobrium during the high-profile footballer’s trials on rape charges.

“The media has been extremely negative about this,” Ms Cunneen said, telling the court Hayne’s wife had avoided coming to the hearing due to the enduring coverage.

Amellia Hayne held her husband’s hand as photographers captured him walking into court for the last time in April as the NSW Supreme Court sent him into custody.

He was “remarkably” still on bail 10 days after being found guilty of committing two “extremely grave sexual offences”, Justice Richard Button said then.

A taxi Hayne paid $550 to drive him to Sydney following a buck’s weekend waited outside the victim’s suburban Newcastle home while he played her songs on a laptop and watched the end of the grand final as her mother sat in the living room.

Following the assault, the pair cleaned blood off themselves in the woman’s ensuite and Hayne continued to Sydney, his trial heard.

Hayne previously spent more than nine months in custody before an earlier guilty verdict was overturned on appeal, requiring another trial.

The trial beginning in March was Hayne’s third on charges laid in November 2018.

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

Hayne’s sentence will be backdated to July 2, 2022, to account for previous time in custody.

He played most of his 214 NRL games for the Parramatta Eels as well as representing Australia and Fiji, selected for 23 State of Origin matches, including NSW’s drought-breaking series win in 2014, the same year he won his second Dally M medal.

1800 RESPECT 1800 737 732

National Sexual Abuse and Redress Support Service 1800 211 028


Topics: Jarryd Hayne
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