Former NRL superstar Jarryd Hayne could remain a free man following a dramatic court development on Friday.
The one-time Parramatta Eels fullback, 34, could escape a third sexual assault trial, with prosecutors reportedly considering whether to drop the charges against him.
On Monday, Hayne saw his convictions overturned by the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal and he was then released from the Cooma Correction Centre on Tuesday – which was also his birthday.
Hayne served nine months of a minimum three years and eights months term imposed on him in May after he was found guilty of two charges of sexual intercourse without consent.
It stemmed from a night in the NSW Hunter Valley in 2018, where he denied allegations of forcibly performed oral and digital sexual intercourse on a woman.
In Sydney’s Downing Centre, it emerged the NSW Director of Public Prosecutions was still weighing up the options.
Former NRL superstar Jarryd Hayne could remain a free man following a dramatic court development on Friday where it was announced a third sexual assault trial may not eventuate
Jarryd Hayne has served nine months of a minimum three years and eights months term imposed on him in May after he was found guilty of two charges of sexual intercourse without consent
His lawyer Ramy Qutami was expecting a retrial date to be lodged – but prosecutor Isha Fay instead told the court that the DPP had not yet decided if a third trial would take place, news.com.au reported.
‘This matter is listed for mention following a decision by the Court of Criminal Appeal,’ Ms Fay told Judge Chris O’Brien on Friday afternoon.
‘The crown at this stage is still considering its position in relation to a retrial.’
The matter was then adjourned until March 4.
On Tuesday, Hayne offered nothing but a wry smile as he arrived for his bail appearance after his first night out of prison in nine months.
The footy star was was granted bail on Tuesday after a NSW appeal court overturned his sexual assault convictions and ordered a third trial.
The 34-year-old arrived at Merrylands Police Station just after 4pm on Wednesday afternoon as part of his bail conditions before leaving shortly afterwards, refusing to answer questions from reporters gathered outside.
The 34-year-old former NRL star arrived at Merrylands Police Station just after 4pm on Wednesday afternoon as part of his bail conditions
Hayne, who remains in a strong physical condition, arrived in a white sedan being driven by another man, potentially a family member of his partner
It’s believed Hayne spent his first day of freedom looking after his two young children while wife Amelia Bonnici went to work.
Hayne, who appears to have maintained his fitness while in jail, arrived in a white sedan being driven by another man.
Dressed in a white Michael Jordan t-shirt, black shorts and sandals, he briefly walked into the police station before exiting less than five minutes later.
A group of local reporters had gathered outside to speak to the ex-Parramatta Eels captain, who waited until late in the day to arrive for his court-ordered appearance.
Hayne ignored questions about his first day of freedom and the thoughts of his wife, offering only a grin as he walked back to his car.
It’s believed he is living in a luxury investment apartment in Parramatta that he purchased during his lucrative playing career.
The 34-year-old, dressed in a white Michael Jordan t-shirt, black shorts and sandals, briefly walked into the police station before exiting less than five minutes later
It’s believed Hayne may have spent his first day of freedom looking after his two young children, while wife Amelia Bonnici went to work
Hayne was granted bail on Monday, grinning as he hugged a friend upon leaving Cooma Correctional Centre on Tuesday – his 34th birthday.
Hours earlier a district court had granted him bail, a day But that trial could be a year away.
The earliest the trial – expected to go for two to three weeks – may be able to proceed is October, District Court judge Christopher O’Brien said.
‘After that, we’re looking at 2023,’ he said.
Hayne appeared in the court via audio visual link on Tuesday morning, clad in prison greens, as Judge O’Brien imposed conditions on his release.
He must pay a $20,000 bail surety, surrender his passport, and report to Merrylands police station in Sydney’s west on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
He also must not contact or intimidate the alleged victim or any witnesses, and cannot enter the Newcastle local government area.
Hayne was in May sentenced to at least three years and eight months behind bars after he was found guilty of two charges of sexual intercourse without consent.
The former NRL player grinned and hugged a mate as he left Cooma Correctional Centre just hours after he was granted strict conditional bail in the NSW District Court
Hayne was picked up by two men who were waiting in a white SUV outside of the jail
A cardboard box seemingly containing multiple pairs of shoes was one of the only items Hayne left prison with (pictured with a mate)
It’s believed Hayne may have spent his first day of freedom looking after his two young children, while wife Amelia Bonnici (pictured left) went to work
The ex-Parramatta player faced a retrial after his first ended with a hung jury.
The Crown contended in both trials he forcibly performed oral and digital sexual intercourse on a woman in her NSW Hunter bedroom on the night of the 2018 NRL grand final.
Hayne has always maintained the encounter was consensual.
Hayne’s barrister Tim Game SC successfully argued for his convictions to be overturned on two appeal grounds – that there was an error in the legal directions given to the jury, and an error in a pre-trial ruling on evidence.
Another two appeal grounds – including that the jury’s verdict was unreasonable – were dismissed.
The 34-year-old held a brown cardboard box full of shoes and other meagre possessions on Tuesday afternoon as he finished his nine-month stint in prison.
Appearing much trimmer than when he was sentenced, Hayne carried a box which appeared to be full of shoes with an Aldi bag in another hand as he walked straight past media and into a waiting SUV
Hayne left jail on Tuesday afternoon just hours after a judge granted him bail – as he prepares for a third blockbuster sex assault trial
He dressed casually in a grey polo, shorts and thongs and sported a fresh haircut as he prepared to return home after nine months behind bars.
Appearing much trimmer than when he was sentenced, Hayne carried a box which appeared to be full of shoes with an Aldi bag in another hand as he walked straight past media and into a waiting SUV.
Hayne must reside with his wife Amellia Bonnici at as part of his strict bail conditions, at a western Sydney address where she lives with their children.
But his mother and sister appeared to be preparing for a celebration at their Umina home on the Central Coast on Tuesday morning.
The women carried bags full of groceries from the car to the home but a friend of the family insisted there was no party and Hayne would not be making the five-hour trip from Cooma to Umina today.
Jarryd Hayne’s family is eagerly anticipating his release from custody – seen stocking up on food and supplies after he was granted bail
The women carried bags full of groceries from the car to the home around the same time Hayne was granted bail in the District Court
‘They’re all hunkering down,’ the loved one said.
A neighbour added the Hayne family are extremely private and will likely not make a show of any celebrations they do have.
As per his bail conditions, Hayne will be permitted to travel to the Central Coast to visit his family, but must reside with Ms Bonnici at her western Sydney home.
He successfully had his rape conviction overturned on Monday after his barrister, Tim Game SC, argued legal directions given to the jury were ‘flawed in almost every possible way’.
A further two grounds for appeal – including that the jury’s verdict was unreasonable – were dismissed.
But his alleged victim is now facing the prospect of yet another marathon three-week trial amid allegations he sexually assaulted her inside her Newcastle home on the night of the 2018 NRL Grand Final.
Hayne’s family (pictured with his mum and sister) will likely celebrate his release from prison in private. He must now begin preparing for a third trial
Hayne’s bail conditions instruct him to remain at his wife’s home in Sydney’s west and report to Merrylands police station three days per week
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
On Tuesday, Judge Christopher O’Brien agreed to grant Hayne bail on the proviso he not enter the Newcastle local government area or attempt to make contact with the complainant.
Prosecutors must follow strict guidelines to determine whether a retrial is held, a spokeswoman for the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions said.
In matters such as this the Crown typically weighs up the likelihood a jury could find beyond reasonable doubt that Hayne is guilty.
Hayne’s legal team argued in court that presiding Judge Helen Syme gave the jury ‘flawed’ directions, and that the alleged victim’s evidence was inconsistent in seeking to overturn the conviction.
The 34-year-old’s freedom comes after nine months in custody at Cooma Correctional Centre 400km south-west of Sydney.
Cooma is a medium and minimum security facility 400km south-west of Sydney which has housed high-profile white collar criminals in recent years
Hayne ignored waiting media as he made a beeline straight for a waiting SUV, passing his box of shoes to a friend to carry on his behalf
Hayne must reside with his wife Amellia Bonnici (pictured) as part of his strict bail conditions
The medium and minimum security facility is 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 sex offender former Labor minister Milton Orkopoulos and controversial businessman Salim Mehajer.
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.
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 will return to his wife on Tuesday to celebrate his birthday and freedom after he was granted bail
Upon arriving in Cooma, however, Hayne was swiftly put to work.
He landed a job in the jail’s textiles workshop, making prison greens for fellow inmates. Hayne, 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 the while, Hayne has maintained his innocence, vowing to appeal his conviction and fight for his freedom.
It’s unclear whether the Director of Public Prosecutions will progress with a third trial.
Amellia Bonnici, the mother of Hayne’s children and his wife, stood by him despite the rape conviction
A jury in his first trial could not reach a verdict, but in March 2021 during his second trial, the 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’.
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.
Read more at DailyMail.co.uk