Former NRL star Jarryd Hayne jailed for sex assault

Former NRL star Jarryd Hayne has been sentenced to jail for sexually assaulting a woman in 2018....
Former NRL star Jarryd Hayne has been sentenced to jail for sexually assaulting a woman in 2018. Photo: Getty
Disgraced former NRL star Jarryd Hayne has been jailed for at least three years and eight months for attacking a young woman in her bedroom on the night of the 2018 NRL grand final.

District Court Judge Helen Syme said in Newcastle today Hayne had to be jailed because non-consensual sexual intercourse was an extreme form of violence which the community expected courts to take very seriously.

The judge noted Hayne only stopped attacking the victim when she started to bleed, not when she was telling him no and stop.

"She (the victim) has every right to feel safe from attack in the privacy of her home," the judge said.

"The fact is she said no to the sexual activity the offender was forcing on her.

"The offender was fully aware the victim was not consenting.

"I do not accept the offender did not know or did not hear the victim telling him she did not want to have sex with him."

The judge said Hayne's decision to ignore the woman's pleas to stop when forcibly giving her oral and digital sexual intercourse only increased the objective seriousness of the crime.

Hayne's use of force was such that the victim had no chance to stop him given he had been a professional athlete.

Judge Syme said the victim's honesty had been tested at length during Hayne's trial but the jury and the judge believed her, not Hayne.

The loss of Hayne's career was a moral and natural consequence of his actions.

Judge Syme said it was hard to see Hayne's prospects of rehabilitation being regarded as high since he continues to maintain his innocence.

Hayne was jailed for a total of five years and nine months.

The woman, 28, in an emotional victim impact statement read earlier to the court, said she was plagued by constant flashbacks of seeing Hayne's face during the sexual assault.

She said Hayne had destroyed her life and she would never be the same again.

The woman told the court Hayne had made her feel dirty, violated, treated her like an object and had been seeing right through her.

"You don't owe somebody your body, nor should they expect it," the woman said.

"My body remembers and my mind won't let me forget.

"This assault has changed me. It changed my direction and who I was.

"I don't remember the last time I had a proper sleep."

The woman had endured "countless hours of crying" and visited various psychologists to try to push the memory of what happened to her to the back of her mind.

She and her mother had been forced to move out of their home because she could never be in that bedroom again.

The woman no longer trusted anyone, pushed everyone away and "freaks out if I get close to anyone".

She told the court she made the mistake of looking at social media and wanted to scream at people discussing the case and "set them straight".

"What I experienced was horrible. Nobody should have to feel that way. I'm destroyed and damaged but I'm still standing."

She was proud of facing Hayne in court during his trial and telling her story.

Hayne, 33, was found guilty in March of two counts of sexual assault by a jury of seven men and five women during a retrial in Sydney.

He was found not guilty of the two more serious charges of aggravated sexual assault without consent inflicting actual bodily harm.

The first jury in Newcastle was discharged in December after being deadlocked and failing to reach a verdict.

Hayne, a father-of-two, was called to give evidence on Thursday about the impact the charges had had on his career and livelihood.

He said he was set to sign a lucrative one-year, $500,000 deal with St George Illawarra on the day he was charged with sexual assault.

"As soon as the charges were laid, it (the deal) was put to bed I guess," Hayne told the court.

Former Parramatta Eels captain Tim Mannah told the court there was a definite shift in Hayne's Christian faith after he was charged and went to a bible college in Perth as part of his bail conditions.

Mannah said the boys used to call Hayne the "part-time Christian' because of his love for drinking and partying but now you couldn't have a five-minute conversation with Hayne without him bringing up something in the Bible.

Defence barrister Richard Pontello SC claimed Hayne had had a genuine, deep-seated reconnection with his Christian faith which showed he was highly unlikely to reoffend and had good prospects of rehabilitation.

The crown case against Hayne was he arrived drunk at the woman's house on the outskirts of Newcastle about 9pm on September 30, 2018 and stayed for about 45 minutes, committed two sex acts on her without her consent involving digital penetration and oral sex before causing two separate injuries to her genitalia before leaving.

The woman told the jury Hayne tried to kiss and touch her but when she said "no" and "stop" he pushed her head into the pillow, ripped off her trousers and attacked her.

Hayne claimed he knew the woman did not want to have sex with him after she realised he had a taxi waiting outside but she agreed to him performing oral sex on her to please her.

He said the woman's injuries must have been caused when he accidentally cut her with his finger.

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