Disgraced NRL player Jarryd Hayne has been sentenced to four years and nine months in prison after he was found guilty of sexually assaulting a woman on the night of the 2018 NRL grand final.
The 35-year-old appeared via video at Sydney’s Downing Centre District Court from Silverwater Correctional Complex in his prison outfit for the sentencing.
Hayne has spent the past four weeks in jail after he was taken into custody during a Supreme Court bail hearing on April 14.
Judge Turnbull told the court that Hayne is a “completely different man” to the one who committed the offences.
“People are going to be left to suffer as a result of him being taken from them,” Judge Turnbull said.
“He is going to be doing his time in a difficult environment.”
Despite this, Hayne maintains his innocence and has not accepted responsibility for the crimes.
Per Guardian Australia, the woman, who cannot be identified, said in a statement read to the court on Monday that her life has been “launched into what feels like a never-ending nightmare” since the assault.
“I am stronger and I am wiser but I am damaged, and I won’t ever be the same person,” she wrote.
The jury previously reached its verdict after more than a week of deliberations, unanimously finding Hayne guilty of both charges.
Disgraced former NRL player Jarryd #Hayne will not go into custody right now… the twice convicted rapist will return home with his wife tonight and there’s likely to be a detention application in the next few days. @9NewsSyd
— Tiff Genders (@tiffgenders) April 4, 2023
This was the third trial regarding the assault. Hayne’s first trial back in 2018 ended in a hung jury and at a retrial in 2021, he was convicted of two counts of sexual intercourse without consent.
“I do not accept the offender did not know, or hear, that the victim did not want to have sex with him,” Judge Helen Syme said while handing down his sentence after he was found guilty in 2021.
“I do not accept that he was not aware that she was attempting to push him away and trying to physically resist him… it was very clear she said no several times.
“I have found the offender was fully aware that the victim was not consenting and went ahead anyway. His decision to do so increases the objective seriousness.”
A mountain of umbrellas, as supporters shield Jarryd Hayne entering Newcastle district court for sentence hearing on sexual assault conviction. Reporters pushed away, as supporters shielded Hayne. @abcnews pic.twitter.com/2VWnw5aduh
— Giselle Wakatama (@GiselleWak) May 5, 2021
In the 2021 sentencing, Judge Syme added that the woman’s “reliability and honesty” were tested throughout the trial and that she had no doubt as to the reliability of her accusations.
“The use of force was such that the victim had no prospect of stopping him physically,” she said.
“He was at least twice her weight at 100 kilograms and an athlete at the top of his form.”
Judge Syme also referenced Hayne’s upbringing, saying that his difficult childhood was no excuse for his “entitled behaviour next to this young woman who simply refused to have sexual relations with him,” and that this behaviour won’t be fixed by him “going to church.”
In an emotional victim statement read to the court in the earlier trial, the woman — who can’t be named for legal reasons — said the incident made her feel “dirty and violated,” and that it still affects her to this day.
“You don’t owe somebody your body, nor should they expect it,” she said in her victim statement.
“My body remembers and my mind won’t let me forget.
“This assault has changed me. It changed my direction and who I was.
“I don’t remember the last time I had a proper sleep.”
Hayne was handed a prison sentence of five years and nine months, however, he appealed the verdict. In February 2022, the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal quashed his convictions and ordered a retrial — his third.
Help is available.
If you require immediate assistance, please call 000.
If you’d like to speak to someone about sexual violence, please call the 1800 Respect hotline on 1800 737 732 or chat online.
Under 25? You can reach Kids Helpline at 1800 55 1800 or chat online.