SYDNEY, 14 FEBRUARY 2022 (ABC) — Former NRL star Jarryd Hayne has won an appeal against his sexual assault convictions.
Hayne, 33, was found guilty of two charges of sexually assaulting a woman in her bedroom on the night of the 2018 NRL grand final.
In 2021 he was given a maximum sentence of five years and nine months, with a non-parole period of three years and eight months.
A three-judge panel in the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal has upheld some of his grounds for appeal and quashed his convictions.
Hayne will face a retrial.
In sentencing him in 2021, District Court Judge Helen Syme said Hayne was fully aware the woman was not consenting, but went ahead anyway.
“The reliability and honesty of the victim’s evidence was tested at length and in my view, her reliability was not in doubt. She said no several times,” Judge Syme said.
“The use of force was such that the victim had no prospect of stopping him physically.
He was at least twice her weight at 100 kilograms and an athlete at the top of his form.”
During the trial the court heard Hayne sexually assaulted the woman in her bedroom while her mother was also in the house, causing her injuries, and leaving her shocked and scared.
He was in Newcastle for a bucks’ party and visited the woman on the way back to Sydney.
Hayne argued the sex was consensual.
In appealing against his conviction, his legal team argued Judge Syme gave the jury ‘flawed’ directions.
They also argued there was inconsistent evidence and that an outburst from the woman in court when she yelled “no means no” under cross-examination, was prejudicial.
Hayne took the stand as part of last year’s hearing and said he had been poised to sign a new NRL contract with the St George Illawarra Dragons on the day he was charged in 2018.
He said the contract was worth $500,000 (US$356,000) but that he was told it would not be going ahead due to a “media frenzy. …. PACNEWS