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Disgraced NRL player Jarryd Hayne has sensationally won his last-ditch attempt to have two rape convictions overturned and will face retrial.
The 33-year-old was jailed for a maximum five years and nine months in May last year for raping a young woman in Newcastle in September 2018 on the night of the NRL Grand Final.
The NSW Court of Criminal Appeal heard his conviction challenge in November, when Hayne’s lawyers argued for an acquittal or a third trial.
On Monday morning, Chief Justice Tom Bathurst and Justices Helen Wilson and Ian Harrison handed down their decision.
Jarryd Hayne (pictured with his wife Amellia Bonnici) was jailed for a maximum five years and nine months in May last year
Hayne (pictured) has continually stressed that the sexual encounter was consensual
In November, his barrister Tim Game SC put forward four appeal grounds including contending the jury was given ‘profoundly wrong’ legal directions.
Justice Helen Syme’s directions of law were ‘flawed in almost every possible way’, he argued.
While prosecutor Brett Hatfield admitted the language could have been tighter, he said ‘perfection is not required’.
Another ground was the overruling of evidence admitted into the first trial, which Mr Game said explained the complainant’s state of mind in her ‘abiding interest in having sex with Jarryd Hayne’.
Hayne put together one of the finest individual seasons in rugby league history in 2009, leading the Eels to the grand final and winning the Dally M medal as the game’s finest player
Hayne (pictured with wife Amellia Bonnici) launched the appeal against his two sexual assault convictions in November
He also disputed a ‘highly prejudicial’ outburst from the woman in the first trial when she yelled ‘no means no’ under cross-examination, played before his second jury and likely to bring about a ‘very sympathetic response’.
But the Crown argued the woman appeared very deflated and flat directly after this exchange, and her monotone responses would be incongruent without viewing the preceding moments.
Both trials were told Hayne had left his friend’s bucks party to meet up with the woman and forcibly performed oral and digital sexual intercourse on her.
‘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,’ Judge Syme said.
TIMELINE TO JARRYD HAYNE’S FOOTBALL DOWNFALL
1988: Jarryd Hayne is born in Sydney, the son of Manoa Thompson and Jodie Hayne.
1994: Hayne begins playing junior rugby league in western Sydney.
2006: Hayne makes his NRL debut for the Parramatta Eels aged 18 agains the Penrith Panthers.
2007: The speedster makes his representative debut for New South Wales and Australia.
2008: He signs a $2million extension with Parramatta.
2008: Hayne was shot by a bikie gang member during a night out in Sydney’s Kings Cross, an event he said was a turning point in his life.
2008: After missing out on a place in the Kangaroos World Cup squad he plays for Fiji, later turning to religion.
2009: The star fullback leads the Eels to the NRL Grand Final and wins his first Dally M Medal.
2014: Hayne wins a second Dally M Medal and leads the NRL in tries scored.
2014: He announces his departure from rugby league to attempt a career in the NFL.
2015: Hayne signs a three-year contract for US$1.58million with the San Francisco 49ers.
2015: Hayne is accused of raping a virgin during a night out in San Jose, California – an allegation Hayne denies.
2016: He retires from the NFL and joins the Fiji rugby sevens team in the hopes of making the 2016 Rio Olympics.
2016: Hayne returns to the NRL signing with the Gold Coast Titans on a million-dollar contract.
2018: He signs with the Parramatta Eels on a cheaper-than-usual contract.
2018: Hayne is charged with aggravated sexual assault relating to an alleged incident on Grand Final night in the Hunter region.
2021: The footy star is found guilty of rape.
Source: Daily Mail