Hayne rape victim’s ‘never-ending nightmare’

Jarryd Hayne will learn his fate on Friday. Picture: NCA NewsWire / David Swift

A woman says she’s been “damaged” and living a “never-ending nightmare” since she was raped by disgraced former NRL star Jarryd Hayne at her Newcastle home in the NSW Hunter Region in 2018.

The 35-year-old appeared in the NSW District Court on Monday dressed in his prison greens and with a thick beard.

His wife Amellia Bonnici did not appear in court to support him.

It’s the first time the Dally M winner has been seen in public after he was sensationally taken into custody during a Supreme Court detention application on April 14.

Judge Graham Turnbull SC previously told the court there was a high chance that Hayne would be sentenced to a term of imprisonment over the sexual assault.

A fresh victim impact statement was read to the court on behalf of the victim on Monday by Crown prosecutor John Sfinas.

A woman raped by Jarryd Hayne told the court that she would never be the same person. Picture: NCA NewsWire / David Swift

“I still don’t know how to put any of this into words,” the statement read.

“From the 30th of September 2018, my life has been launched into what feels like a never-ending nightmare.”

The woman said she was hoping she could “finally try to move on” with her life at the end of the second trial.

But she said she hadn’t had the chance to “move on or feel peace” and had to relive the trauma “over and over”.

“Those types of things don’t just hurt, the assault was something horrible that happened to me, something I feel that was very private,” the victim wrote.

The victim told the court that she had since been “extremely insecure” about her body.

“In September it will be five years since this has happened. I was a 26-year-old with the world at her feet, now I am nearly 31 and haven’t been able to finish uni,” the woman said.

“I am stronger, I am wiser, but I am damaged and I won’t ever be the same person.”

Hayne’s defence barrister, Margaret Cunneen SC, told the court the sexual assault was “a matter of minutes” at most.

She said the length of the offending was important in the context of the case and would affect the objective seriousness.

Ms Cunneen told the court that there was “unambiguously and mutual sexual context” in the lead-up to Hayne raping the woman.

“Not only was there an unambiguous sexual flavour to it … there was talk about f**king by the complainant,” Ms Cunneen told the court.

Hayne and wife Amellia Bonnici on the day he was taken into custody. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Simon Bullard

The court was told the victim had sent a text to a friend that said she “turned down Jarryd Hayne, I’m a f**king idiot”.

Ms Cunneen said the act occurred between “two grown adults”.

“The nature of the offences were oral and digital, taking place at precisely the same time for a period of 30 seconds,” she told the court.

Judge Turnbull told the court that he intended to sentence Hayne on Friday. The court was told the sentence would be backdated to account for the time he already spent behind bars.

After five years, three trials, an appeal and nine months in prison, Hayne was in April found guilty of sexually assaulting the woman at her Newcastle home in 2018.

It was the third time Hayne faced a trial over the same incident and the second time he was found guilty.

While he claims the sexual encounter was entirely consensual, the jury accepted the woman’s version of events that she repeatedly said “no” and ”stop”.

The jury of six men and six women took almost 23 hours to come to the decision before the foreman said the word “guilty” to the courtroom just after 3.30pm on April 4.

Hayne had earlier spent nine months behind bars before the conviction was quashed on appeal.

Hayne pleaded not guilty and denied sexually assaulting the then 26-year-old woman at her home at Fletcher, on Newcastle’s outskirts, in September 2018.

Hayne will return to court on Friday for sentencing. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Christian Gilles

The jury was told the woman refused to consent to sex because the ex-Parramatta fullback had a taxi waiting outside.

He had been in Newcastle for a two-day buck’s party and had organised to pay a cab driver $550 to take him back to Sydney, where he was required to attend an event at midnight.

Hayne decided to “pop in” to the woman’s house on the way.

“It was up in the air, best-case scenario I would be having sex with her, worst case I would just get introduced and that was it,” Hayne told the court in prerecorded evidence.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told the court that when she heard the taxi beeping outside her bedroom window she resolved there was “no way” she was going to consent to sex.

Hayne will return to court on Friday for sentencing.