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Former NRL player Jarryd Hayne granted bail after winning appeal against rape convictions

Max Corstorphan
The Nightly
The New South Wales Court of Criminal Appeal has quashed Jarryd Hayne's rape conviction but left the door open to him standing trial for a fourth time.

Former NRL star Jarryd Hayne has been granted bail after he won his appeal in the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal, with a new trial ordered.

The ruling, delivered on Wednesday morning, decided whether the two-time Dally M winner was rightfully jailed on charges of raping the woman on the night of the 2018 NRL Grand Final.

“The court will quash the convictions and order a new trial,” Stephen Justice Rothman said.

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“Whether there is a new trial is a matter for the director of public prosecutions.”

The court granted bail unopposed for the former Parramatta Eels player shortly after midday.

Hayne, who is currently in Mary Wade Correctional Centre in Sydney, is set to walk free on Wednesday afternoon.

The 36-year-old has spent a year behind bars after a jury convicted him of two counts of sexual intercourse without consent in April 2023 after an earlier guilty verdict was overturned in a separate appeal.

Justice Rothman upheld the appeal on two of the three grounds the conviction was appealed on.

Hayne’s team had argued at an appeal hearing in April the guilty verdicts were not supported by the evidence at the trial, the ruling during the trial the complainant did not have to testify about an interaction she had with another man she had sent messages to on the day she says she was sexually assaulted was wrong and that ruling by the trial judge Graham Turnbull led to a miscarriage of justice.

The Court of Criminal Appeal quashed Hayne’s convictions after upholding the first and second grounds.

Three separate criminal trials were told the woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, changed her mind about having sex with Hayne after realising he had a taxi waiting outside her house.

Hayne claimed the sex was consensual but the woman told the court she repeatedly told him the former Parramatta fullback “no” and “stop” and was left bleeding after the sexual encounter.

The former Parramatta fullback was sentenced to nearly five years jail after being convicted of digital and oral sexual assault and had been due for parole in May next year.

Hayne’s barrister, Tim Game SC, told an appeal hearing in April that the woman deleted messages between herself and Hayne that demonstrated she had initially shown a sexual interest in him.

He argued those and other messages deleted from the woman’s phone amounted to deliberate concealment of the facts.

“On our case, it is concealment of evidence on a large scale,” Mr Game said.

“We say concealment, of course, is the same as lying or deception.”

Georgina Wright SC, representing the Crown, told the same hearing the woman had explained she regularly deleted text messages and had not been selective about what was deleted to “curate the narrative”.

Hayne’s defence team also argued the woman should have been cross-examined on why she allegedly told police, “If those message get out, I’m f***ed and he will get off.”

Judge Turnbull, who oversaw Hayne’s third trial, refused requests for the woman to be cross-examined on the statement, saying it carried “almost infinitesimal weight”.

In a notice to appeal, Hayne’s lawyers argued Judge Turnbull erred in determining the complainant should not be compelled to give further evidence, saying it resulted in a miscarriage of justice.

They further argued that the guilty verdicts were unreasonable and not supported by the evidence.

Hayne’s conviction followed a hung jury in his first trial in 2020 and a previous appeal overturning the 2021 guilty verdict from his second trial.

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