Jarryd Hayne hits rock bottom as judge sends ex-NRL star to prison

Jarryd Hayne has been jailed ahead of sentencing after being found guilty on two counts of rape.

Apr 14, 2023, updated Apr 14, 2023
Wife Amellia Bonnici (left) and former NRL player Jarryd Hayne arrive at the Supreme Court in Sydney. (AAP Image/Bianca De Marchi)

Wife Amellia Bonnici (left) and former NRL player Jarryd Hayne arrive at the Supreme Court in Sydney. (AAP Image/Bianca De Marchi)

Justice Richard Button sent Hayne into custody in the NSW Supreme Court on Friday.

Hayne was “remarkably” still on bail after the 35-year-old disgraced former NRL star was found guilty on two counts of sexual intercourse without consent earlier in April, the judge said.

He sexually assaulted a woman with his hands and mouth after attending her home on the night of the 2018 NRL grand final.

She cannot be identified.

A taxi Hayne paid $550 to drive him to Sydney following a buck’s weekend waited outside the suburban Newcastle home while he played the woman 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 of themselves in the woman’s ensuite and Hayne continued to Sydney, the trial heard.

Hayne walked out of court escorted by sheriffs into a waiting Audi when he faced a bail review in the District Court two days after a jury returned the guilty verdicts.

He was brought before the Supreme Court for a bail review.

It is “inevitable” Hayne will be jailed, Justice Button said on Friday.

“It is proven that Mr Hayne is a man who sexually assaulted a woman.”

The question was when.

Hayne’s barrister Margaret Cunneen SC argued there were “special” or “exceptional” circumstances requiring the bail he has complied with for more than four years be continued until he is sentenced in May.

Then he can be almost immediately be classified as a prisoner in need of protection, rather than placed on remand with other prisoners awaiting sentence.

He would be held in “oppressive” and isolated conditions while on remand.

Hayne’s crime has attracted an unprecedented amount of attention, more akin to a high-profile murder, and out of proportion with the actual gravity of the two sexual offences he has been found guilty of, she said.

Many details of the case remained unknown to the general public.

“There was a closed court for evidence, as there should be,” Ms Cunneen said.

However, it meant a “baying mob” had become involved in a “toxic” social media campaign in response to his crimes, committed over 30 seconds by someone with no other criminal history, Ms Cunneen said.

“Mr Hayne suffers from the default position he is a sex offender of the most debased and worst kind,” she said.

The “terrifying” posts also reach the prison population, she said.

Crown prosecutor Brett Hatfield said some of the posts were years old.

The restricted conditions required by his need for protection were no different from others in protective custody or isolation, for various reasons, Mr Hatfield said.

Many offenders have young families whose lives are disrupted by them entering custody.

“It is not by itself special or exceptional such that it would justify being released on bail,” he said.

Hayne previously spent more than nine months in custody before an earlier guilty verdict was overturned, requiring the third trial, and the resumption of a prison term.

“To recommence it with something as oppressive as 25 days in isolation, represents something that is exceptional,” Ms Cunneen said.

The judge was not convinced.

“The fact is, all prisons are inherently places of deprivation of liberty.”

“If Mr Hayne should otherwise be in custody, that circumstance should hardly stand in the way of it,” Justice Button said, before revoking Hayne’s bail.

He is due to face a sentencing hearing on May 8.

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