Jarryd Hayne sentenced to four years, nine months' jail for sexual assault

Jarryd Hayne sentenced to four years, nine months' jail for sexual assault

Jarryd Hayne

Former NRL player Jarryd Hayne has been sentenced to four years and nine months in jail after a jury found he sexually assaulted a woman at her Newcastle home in 2018.

The former professional footballer will be eligible for parole in just under two years due to time already served.

Judge Graham Turnbull told Sydney's Downing Court Hayne's offending was "below mid-range" and he had a "seemingly low risk of reoffending".

Hayne has faced three trials over the assault, with the first ending in a hung jury and the guilty verdict of the second quashed.

Today's sentence is lighter than his previous sentence of five years and nine months.

Jarryd Hayne

The judge commended the victim for bringing Hayne to justice, but also detailed a list of mitigating factors including his good character and tough conditions in prison due to his high profile.

After the sentence was read out Hayne was heard saying “say no more” before the video link ended.

His wife Amellia Bonnici was not present at the sentence hearing on Monday or the verdict today.

Jarryd Hayne

Last month a jury found Hayne guilty of two counts of sexual intercourse without consent.

The charges reflected two forms of sexual activity – oral and digital penetration – which took place on the weekend of the 2018 NRL grand final.

Hayne had been in Newcastle for a friend's bucks party and caught a taxi to the woman's home on his way back to Sydney.

It was found Hayne persisted for 30 seconds despite the victim saying "no" and "stop".

'A plummet into infamy'

Judge Graham Turnbull pointed to Hayne's physical size and said he ultimately used the victim as "some kind of sexual object".

"Knowing the complainant was not consenting, he overwhelmed her in an indulgence of physical power to achieve some sexual gratification," Mr Turnbull said.

He commended the victim on her resilience and said she "was not passive in the face of adversity".

"She should carry no blame," Mr Turnbull said.

"She should feel in no way unclean and she should feel safe."

A previous judge, in a conviction which was overturned at appeal, considered the offence to be mid-range, with a sentence of five years and nine months.

The judge spoke in detail about the mitigating factors which classified the event as less serious.

Mr Turnbull said the consequences were higher for Hayne, being a public figure, and was being held in isolation for his own safety.

"This offence constitutes a plummet into infamy," he told the court.

He also explained Hayne's disadvantaged childhood, and participation in the community and family life.

Jarryd Hayne

Detective Inspector Eugene Stek from the NSW Sex Crimes Squad, who worked on the case, issued an emotional message to the victim outside the court.

"I certainly commend the bravery of the survivor in this matter," Mr Stek said.

"She's certainly much braver than she believes, certainly much stronger than she seems and she's certainly much smarter than she thinks."

He said survivors in the community should also come forward.

"Shine the light on these sort of matters because the light will set you free and certainly make you stronger," Mr Stek said.

In a hearing on Monday to inform the judge's sentencing decision, a new statement from the victim was read in which she told the court the event was the beginning of "a never-ending nightmare".

Hayne's barrister Margaret Cunneen SC argued the charges were less serious than other offences due to the sexual messages exchanged between Hayne and the victim prior to the assault.

Ms Cunneen also asked the judge to acknowledge Hayne faces tougher than usual prison conditions as he has to be kept in isolation for his own safety, while the prosecution highlighted his considerable strength and the clear protests from the victim.

Hayne served nine months of his previous sentence at Cooma Correctional Centre before his convictions were quashed and he was granted bail in February last year.

He will now be eligible for release on May 6, 2025.


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