Jarryd Hayne, the disgraced rugby league star who was once the face of the NRL, has been jailed for a maximum of five years and nine months for raping a woman at her home in the Hunter.
Judge Helen Syme handed down the sentence on Thursday afternoon in Newcastle District Court, where she said he would be eligible for release on parole on January 5, 2025.
The former NSW Blues representative was found guilty in March of two charges of sexual intercourse without consent against a 26-year-old on NRL Grand Final night of 2018.
The charges were alternative counts after the jury cleared him of two charges of aggravated sexual intercourse without consent inflicting actual bodily harm. The first trial, held in Newcastle last year, resulted in a hung jury.
In handing down her sentence on Thursday, Judge Syme said Hayne was "fully aware" the woman had not consented to sex when he went to her home on the night of September 30, 2018, heavily intoxicated and assaulted her with his finger and mouth.
"No other conclusion can be drawn other than the offender knew she did not consent," Judge Syme said.
"The fact is she said 'no' to the sexual activity the offender was forcing on her. She moved away and said 'no' or similar two or three times."
The court heard that Hayne went to the woman's house, where she lived with her mother, part way through the NRL grand final - leaving a friend's two-day buck's party, saying he was returning to Sydney.
He made the taxi driver wait in front of the house while he went inside and forced himself on the woman, despite her telling him she was not interested in sex.
The attack made her genitals bleed and Hayne left the scene in the taxi.
"He had his hand on her face, forcefully trying to turn it towards him," Judge Syme said.
"He then forcibly removed her pants, her jeans ... he did this notwithstanding the fact that she was trying to hold them up and she was saying 'no' and 'no Jarryd'."
The court heard that blood found at the top of the woman's bed was compelling evidence that she was trying to get away from Hayne.
"He stopped not because she said to, but because he noticed the blood," Judge Syme said.
"He did not stop because he realised what he was doing was wrong."
Earlier on Thursday the woman, whose name is subject to a non-publication order, read out a victim impact statement to a court room packed with Hayne's family, friends and supporters.
She said the attack left her in a state of depression, unable to eat properly and not able to work or study.
She said she had ongoing flashbacks and was "still experiencing the devastation".
"I felt dirty and violated. He made me feel like an object and was looking straight through me," she told the court.
"I sat on my bed, hugging my knees, staring into nothing. I trusted him based on who I thought he was, and he definitely was not [that person]."
The woman also spoke of the trauma of going through the trial and re-trial. The assault changed her, she said, "it changed my direction and who I was".
"What I experienced was horrible ... I'm destroyed and damaged but still standing," she said.
"You don't owe someone your body, nor should they expect it. It's now my time to heal. I've survived this and I've protected a tiny spark of my life."
Defence barrister Richard Pontello, SC, argued that the extra-curial punishment Hayne experienced should be taken into account in his sentencing - including photos published in the press and a loss of employment as a rugby league player.
Hayne told the court he was on the verge of signing with the St George Illawarra Dragons for a $500,000 one-year contract when he was charged and the deal disappeared.
"Because of the media involved, the kind of frenzy that went with the charges, I didn't hear anything after that," he said.
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When asked by Crown Prosecutor Brian Costello whether he could have anticipated that being charged with a criminal offence could affect the availability of an NRL contract, Hayne said: "I didn't do it".
Judge Syme said Hayne's "continued denial that he did anything wrong" meant that his prospects of rehabilitation could only be labelled "hopeful" at best.
Former Parramatta Eels player Tim Mannah provided a reference to the court on behalf of Hayne, speaking about his ex-teammate's turn towards a Christian lifestyle.
He said Hayne returned from the 2008 Rugby League World Cup a "changed man" after spending time with Christian footballers and linking with the Hillsong Church.
Mannah told the court that Hayne had been "a part-time Christian" when he returned from his time trying to start a career in the NFL in the USA in 2016.
But Mannah said there had been a "definite big shift" towards Christianity in Hayne.
Afterwards, outside court, a group of men who appeared to be supporters of Hayne became physical with credentialed media photographers and camera operators.
One of the men in the group verbally abused the prosecution team - including the woman Hayne raped - as they left the courthouse, finishing his tirade by spitting in their direction before sherifs intervened.
That man was also seen repeatedly verbally abusing a female television reporter, calling her a derogatory name.
Detective Inspector Eugene Stek said the behaviour was "absolutely disgraceful and disgusting".
He praised the woman Hayne assaulted, citing her bravery and calling her "a very strong and inspiring young woman".
HOW IT UNFOLDED
* Then out-of-contract, Hayne was interviewed and charged by Sydney police in November 2018 after a then-26-year-old woman alleged he raped her on her bed in Newcastle seven weeks earlier.
* The 33-year-old faced a jury trial in Newcastle in November and December 2020 after a six-month delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
* During an emotionally charged moment, the woman stepped down from the witness box, walked past Hayne in the dock and called him a "f***ing piece of s***". She later apologised.
* She had minutes earlier in cross-examination said questions about her Snapchats to friends before the incident were "just irrelevant" and that "no means f***ing no".
* Having stated they were unable to reach a verdict after two days of deliberations, the jury was discharged.
* A Sydney jury, mostly listening to tapes of the first trial, began hearing the matter on March 8.
* The prosecution argued Hayne had no reasonable grounds for believing the woman would have consented to any sexual activity that evening but felt entitled to it, having missed watching the NRL grand final with his mates to be with her.
* The defence said Hayne obeyed the woman's decision to not have "sex" after she found out he had a taxi waiting outside, but when they later kissed on her bed, she consented to oral and digital sex.
* Hayne was found guilty of two counts of sexual assault, having known or been reckless to the fact the woman was not consenting.
* He was found not guilty of a more serious charge alleging he'd intentionally or recklessly physically harming her at the time.
* Sentenced to five years and nine months in jail. Eligible for release on parole on January 5, 2025.
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