Jarryd Hayne spent his days behind bars sewing prison greens and washing laundry – all the while plotting to have his conviction overturned.
On Monday, the NRL star won his last-ditch court hearing to have two rape convictions tossed aside. He will now face a retrial – subjecting his alleged victim to a third trial.
The 33-year-old was jailed for a maximum of five years and nine months in May 2021, found guilty of raping a woman on the night of 2018 NRL Grand Final at her home in Newcastle.
On his arrival in prison, Hayne was reportedly pelted with fruit by inmates and mocked for asking for access to Foxtel and clean laundry.
Amellia Bonnici, the mother of Hayne’s children and his wife, stood by him despite the rape conviction
Hayne initially gained employment in the textiles unit sewing prison greens for inmates (pictured) before accepting a traineeship in the laundry room
Hayne was initially taken to Parklea Correctional Centre and housed alongside murderers, bikies and drug dealers.
Conflicting reports emerged about his short time in custody at Parklea, with one source saying he was ‘pelted with apples’ by some inmates upon arrival, while another told Daily Mail Australia he was ‘hero worshiped’.
‘Many of them (inmates) had troubled upbringings…they were excited about meeting a sporting hero who had come from similarly humble beginnings,’ the source said.
Before he even had a chance to truly settle in at the western Sydney facility, Hayne was transferred to Cooma – a medium and minimum security facility 400km south-west of Sydney generally known to house high-profile white collar inmates.
Oliver Curtis, PR guru Roxy Jacenko’s husband, found himself jailed for a year at Cooma for conspiracy to commit insider trading in 2016.
Other notable names who’ve spent time inside the concrete facility include former Labor minister Milton Orkopoulos and controversial businessman Salim Mehajer.
Hayne and Ms Bonnici were pictured holding their children at a birthday party before he was imprisoned
Hayne quickly adapted to the colder climes of Cooma and landed a job in the jail’s textiles workshop, making prison greens for fellow inmates.
The 33-year-old, who earned $1.2million playing for the Gold Coast Titans, earned about $24.60 a week in the role.
It’s understood he was ‘no seamstress’ and struggled with the work before accepting a traineeship in the prison’s laundry room for almost double the pay.
For $48.96 a week, Hayne washed bed sheets for other inmates as well as local aged care homes.
All sentenced inmates in full-time custody in NSW are expected to participate in Corrective Services Industries work programs, if eligible.
Corrective Services Industries offers work for Cooma prisoners in textiles, food services, community projects, ground maintenance and the jail’s museum.
Jarryd Hayne holds up the State of Origin shield at Brisbane’s Suncorp stadium after NSW won the 2014 series
While Covid restrictions on face-to-face visits limited the amount of time he spent with his wife Amellia Bonnici, Hayne has enjoyed her unwavering support during his time in custody
Hayne, who made his name as fullback for the Parramatta Eels, was able to use the money he earned on prison ‘buy-ups’ such as extra food and toiletries, or to help pay family bills.
While Covid restrictions on face-to-face visits limited the amount of time he spent with his wife Amellia Bonnici, Hayne has enjoyed her unwavering support during his time in custody.
From the moment his sentence was handed down, when Ms Bonnici shouted ‘I love you’ across the court room, she has proven her loyalty to Hayne.
The mother of Hayne’s two children was inundated with warm messages from friends, family and strangers.
The women of a Facebook group dedicated to offering support and help to the wives and family of prisoners placed a new blanket rule on members of the page – no nasty comments toward Hayne’s wife.
The woman sent Hayne a long text message after their encounter claiming he had been ‘really pushy’ and ‘rough’. Hayne responded: ‘That’s completely untrue! Everything we did you consented to’
Hayne (pictured with his daughter) will apply for bail after overturning his conviction and could return home as early as Tuesday
Instead, members were urged to go out of their way to make their community a ‘safe space’ for Ms Bonnici should she feel the need to turn to them for comfort and advice.
‘You’re now one of us,’ they told her.
Ms Bonnici is now eagerly awaiting her husband’s return home ahead of his bail application on Tuesday.
On Monday, a panel of NSW Criminal Court of Appeal judges – Chief Justice Tom Bathurst and Justices Helen Wilson and Ian Harrison – ordered Hayne’s convictions be quashed.
The move will force both Hayne and his alleged victim to endure a third high-stakes trial.
Hayne pictured with wife Amellia Bonnici. He was sentenced to a non-parole-period of three years and eight months but has successfully appealed the conviction, meaning he is now facing a retrial
Jarryd Hayne’s stunning rise and fall – from a western Sydney housing commission block to the bright lights of NFL stardom, before sensationally landing in jail only to WIN an appeal
Hayne was raised in Housing Commission flats in western Sydney by his single mother Jodie, who slept by the door to ensure her children would be safe from home invaders.
His father is former rugby league star Manoa Thompson, who was absent when Hayne was growing up but reunited with his son later in life.
After showing his prodigious football talent at Westfields Sports High School he signed with the Parramatta Eels and immediately became one of the game’s top performers.
He narrowly avoided being shot by a bikie gang member during a night out in Sydney’s Kings Cross in 2008 – a moment Hayne later said changed his life.
He turned to religion after playing for the Fijian rugby league team at the 2008 World Cup in what was a tumultuous year for the young footballer.
‘For the next year after that, there were sleepless nights… I knew I was a marked man. I was told I was. That was pretty much the pinnacle of where my life was going,’ he told Light FM Christian radio.
‘I sat down and told myself ”Man, I’m a rugby league player. I’m not a bikie. I’m not a gangster.” But the way that whole year developed, it became such a God-glorifying year. It was something that changed my life and made me who I am today.’
Hayne later became the poster boy for Hillsong, a contemporary Pentecostal church.
The next year Hayne broke out as a bona fide superstar – winning the prestigious Dally M medal aged just 21 and leading the Eels to the NRL grand final.
Seeking a new challenge, he ditched his $2million contract with Parramatta in 2014, flew to America and tried to make it in one of the toughest sporting leagues in the world as a completely inexperienced rookie.
Despite the odds and public expectation going against him, Hayne made the five-time Super Bowl champion San Francisco 49ers’ roster.
Hayne then played rugby sevens for Fiji in an attempt to make the side in time for the Olympics before returning to Australia to play for the Gold Coast Titans in 2016.
He rejoined the Eels but was a shadow of his former self.
The NSW District Court heard the footballer met and had sex with his victim in the Hunter region on the night of the NRL grand final on September 30, after they began messaging on social media.
The 26-year-old woman said she and Hayne were having consensual sex but she ‘withdrew her consent’.
She allegedly suffered injuries during the sexual encounter with Hayne and required medical treatment.
The woman originally made a complaint to the NRL’s Integrity Unit about the incident which referred the woman to the police.
The footy star also settled a civil case in the United States after a woman claimed he raped her while he was a member of the 49ers in 2015.
Police declined to charge Hayne after investigating the allegations, and the woman lodged a civil suit in relation to an alleged incident in San Jose, California.
The woman alleged the pair met at a bar following a game between the 49ers and Cincinnati Bengals.
She alleged Hayne took her back to his home in an Uber where he raped her.
The woman says she doesn’t have a strong recollection of the alleged incident, only that someone of Hayne’s build was coming towards her before the alleged rape.
The case was settled in 2019.
In March 2021, a jury found beyond reasonable doubt Hayne had sexually assaulted the 26-year-old woman in her bedroom on the night of the 2018 NRL Grand Final.
She allegedly suffered injuries during a sexual encounter and required medical treatment.
In text to a friend after the incident, the victim described how she stopped wanting to have sex with Hayne after learning he had a taxi waiting outside to take him back to Sydney.
She recounted she ‘kept saying no’ and claimed she suffered injuries to her genitalia.
Further messages showed the woman confronting Hayne, saying: ‘I know I’ve talked about sex and stuff so much, but I didn’t want to do that after knowing the taxi was waiting for you’.
‘I thought you would have at least stayed? I m hurting really badly. I told my Mum you got a nose bleed, but I’m sitting here in my room crying ’cause I feel weird.’
Hayne replied: ‘Go doctor tomorrow’.
Seeking a new challenge, he ditched his $2million contract with Parramatta in 2014, flew to America and tried to make it in one of the toughest sporting leagues in the world as a completely inexperienced rookie
Hayne was raised by a single mother (pictured) in housing commission and had one of the most uplifting success stories in the NRL prior to his arrest
Ahead of Monday’s appeal, Hayne had enlisted the help of NSW Bar Association president Tim Game SC, who is regarded as one of the best appeals lawyers in Australia and charges up to $14,000 a day.
Mr Game submitted the judge who heard Hayne’s trial gave flawed directions to the jury about the issue of consent.
‘These directions are flawed in almost every possible way,’ Mr Game told the court.
Hayne has already served nine months of his minimum sentence of three years and eight months after being convicted of two counts of sexual intercourse without consent.
He was found not guilty of the more serious charges of aggravated sexual intercourse without consent, inflicting actual bodily harm.
The retired footballer, who once earned up to $1.2million a season and had a failed stint playing in the NFL, has always maintained his innocence.
‘I’d rather go to jail knowing I spoke the truth rather than be a free man living a lie,’ Hayne said outside court following a jury’s guilty verdicts.
Cooma is a medium and minimum security facility 400km south-west of Sydney which has housed high-profile white collar criminals in recent years
TIMELINE TO JARRYD HAYNE’S FOOTBALL DOWNFALL
Hayne, who has always maintained his innocence, has already filed a notice of intention to appeal his sentence for following his rape conviction
1988: Jarryd Hayne is born in Sydney, the son of Manoa Thompson and Jodie Hayne.
1994: Hayne begins playing junior rugby league in western Sydney.
2006: Hayne makes his NRL debut for the Parramatta Eels aged 18 against the Penrith Panthers.
2007: The speedster makes his representative debut for New South Wales and Australia.
2008: He signs a $2million extension with Parramatta.
2008: Hayne was shot by a bikie gang member during a night out in Sydney’s Kings Cross, an event he said was a turning point in his life.
2008: After missing out on a place in the Kangaroos World Cup squad he plays for Fiji, later turning to religion.
2009: The star fullback leads the Eels to the NRL Grand Final and wins his first Dally M Medal.
2014: Hayne wins a second Dally M Medal and leads the NRL in tries scored.
2014: He announces his departure from rugby league to attempt a career in the NFL.
2015: Hayne signs a three-year contract for US$1.58million with the San Francisco 49ers.
2015: Hayne is accused of raping a virgin during a night out in San Jose, California – an allegation Hayne denies.
2016: He retires from the NFL and joins the Fiji rugby sevens team in the hopes of making the 2016 Rio Olympics.
2016: Hayne returns to the NRL signing with the Gold Coast Titans on a million-dollar contract.
2018: He signs with the Parramatta Eels on a cheaper-than-usual contract.
2018: Hayne is charged with aggravated sexual assault relating to an alleged incident on Grand Final night in the Hunter region.
2021: The footy star is found guilty of rape in Newcastle District Court and sentenced to a minimum term of three years and eight months behind bars.
2022: Hayne successfully has convictions overturned and is set for blockbuster retrial
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