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When Jarryd Hayne stepped into the witness box of courtroom 6.1 in the Newcastle Court House on Thursday, he blurted out the words: "I didn't do it."

Those words earned a stern rebuke from Judge Helen Syme, who said it explained why his prospects of rehabilitation were so poor as she sentenced him to several years in jail.

Hayne, once the toast of the sporting world, whose dreams of making it in the NFL captured the imagination of Australia, now sits in prison where he will remain until at least January 2025.

He was sentenced on Thursday to five years and nine months in prison and will not be eligible for parole for three years and eight months.

During her sentencing remarks, Judge Syme lamented that Hayne's prospects of being rehabilitated while in prison were poor because of his continued denial that he sexually assaulted the woman in her Newcastle home on NRL grand final night in 2018.

HAYNE'S 'ENTITLEMENT'

Hayne's defence barrister Richard Pontello SC asked Judge Syme to take into account his

Christian beliefs, submitting they could help his rehabilitation.

However she said his prospects of rehabilitation were "guarded", noting he would benefit from in-custody programs including those for offenders who continue to deny their crimes.

"This specific aspect of his behaviour (his denials) ought to be addressed," Judge Syme said.

"It will not be overcome by him simply going to church."

Mr Pontello also contended that Hayne was a victim of a deprived childhood growing up in a housing commission in Minto, in Sydney's west.

Jarryd Hayne was sentenced to three years and eight months behind bars.
Jarryd Hayne was sentenced to three years and eight months behind bars.

But Judge Syme said there was no causal link between his past and his "entitled behaviour to this young woman, who simply refused to have sex with him."

During his trial, Hayne maintained that the woman had consented to sexual activity, after they agreed to meet up at her house at Fletcher on Newcastle's outskirts late in the evening.

But, Judge Syme said: "He was intent on having sexual activity with her despite whatever she said about it.

"It is with this attitude by the defendant that the offence occurred."

She noted the jury "clearly rejected" his version of events, adding: "I do not accept that the offender did not know that she did not want to have sex with him.

"They were in close proximity in the same room."

THE ASSAULT

Hayne had paid $550 for a taxi to take him from Newcastle to Sydney, where he was due to attend a corporate event at Alexandria late in the evening of September 30, 2018.

He asked the taxi driver to stop off at the woman's address, explaining that he needed to pick up a bag.

He arrived at 9.07pm.

Importantly, Judge Syme found that when Hayne knocked on the door, the woman answered it.

Hayne was adamant during his testimony that the woman's mother had in fact greeted him.

However, Judge Syme said that the woman's version was corroborated by her mother's testimony.

Jarryd Hayne thought he was entitled to sex, Judge Helen Syme said. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Christian Gilles
Jarryd Hayne thought he was entitled to sex, Judge Helen Syme said. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Christian Gilles

"I find that (the woman) opened the door, I reject the offender's evidence … that (the woman's mother) answered the door," Judge Syme said

After letting him into the house, they went into her room, where he attempted to woo her by singing along to several songs on YouTube including an Ed Sheeran cover of Wonderwall.

After a short while, the cab driver beeped her horn.

At trial, that taxi driver Helen Morel, said she was worried that Hayne had drunkenly fallen asleep inside and wouldn't be in a fit state to take the two-and-a-half hour journey to Alexandria, in inner Sydney.

Hayne had been drinking heavily while in Newcastle to attend a two-day buck's party and was drinking a four-pack of pre-mixed alcoholic drinks on his way to her house.

As he entered the house, he placed an empty bottle on her letterbox.

"She said to Hayne 'is that your taxi?'" Judge Syme said during her sentencing on Thursday.

"He did not respond to her."

Jarryd Hayne’s prospects of rehabilitation were described as ‘guarded’ by the judge. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Christian Gilles
Jarryd Hayne’s prospects of rehabilitation were described as ‘guarded’ by the judge. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Christian Gilles

It was a crucial piece of evidence during the trial, with the woman explaining that she refused to consent to any sexual contact because he had a taxi waiting in the front yard ready to whisk him off when he was finished.

"He's here for sex, no way I'm going to touch him," the woman told her mother at the time.

He went outside to assure the driver that he was still waiting on the bag and that he would be out shortly.

On his way back in, he walked straight past the woman's bedroom, where she was waiting, to watch the closing stages of the NRL grand final in the family's loungeroom with the woman's mother.

As the Sydney Roosters side, inspired by the heroics of injured halfback Cooper Cronk, celebrated victory over the Melbourne Storm, Hayne exclaimed: "Go the Roosters."

He later explained on the stand that he had at one point in his career been on the verge of signing with the Roosters, saying he was "jealous".

When he returned, she told Hayne that she was angry that he had a taxi waiting.

"What do you think is going to happen?" she said to Hayne.

"There's no way I'm going to touch you."

Justice Syme said: "The offender leaned in and tried to kiss her. She said no and moved back.

"The offender then grabbed her face and pushed her down onto the pillows forcefully.

"He ignored the fact she said no."

Hayne then leaned heavily on the slats of the bed, causing one of them to break.

In a key finding, Judge Syme said he continued to move towards her as she retreated up the bed.

"She kept saying no," Judge Syme said.

He then forcibly removed her pants, despite her attempts to hold them up.

"She was telling him 'no' and 'no Jarryd'," Judge Syme said.

THE BLOOD

The jury found that Hayne performed oral and digital sex on the woman without her consent and despite her protests to stop.

"The offender's actions were forceful and rough," Judge Syme said.

"The victim felt numb and froze."

Judge Syme said the victim - who was about half the size of Hayne - was overwhelmed by the powerfully-built athlete who stood at 189cm and 102kg during his playing career.

Judge Syme said because of the force used by Hayne, the woman had "no prospect of stopping him physically."

He only stopped when he noticed blood on his hands after his actions caused two lacerations to her genitalia which bled profusely and caused her immediate pain and stinging.

"The activity was only for a matter of minutes and he stopped," Judge Syme said.

"But not because she said so, but because he noticed the blood."

Jarryd Hayne continues to say he is innocent and has lodged an appeal. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Christian Gilles
Jarryd Hayne continues to say he is innocent and has lodged an appeal. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Christian Gilles

Photos tendered at trial showed blood spatter over the sheets, including at the head of the bed.

Judge Syme said this piece of evidence corroborated her version of events that she was attempting to move up the bed away from him.

Judge Syme said that because the sexual assault was committed in her home it aggravated the seriousness of his crime.

"It was after she said she was not going to touch him that he commenced the assault on her," Judge Syme said. "She had every right to feel safe."

After Hayne washed himself off in an ensuite bathroom, he left promptly.

During a victim impact statement delivered to the court on Thursday, the woman said she lay in her bed, holding her knees and staring into nothing after being left shattered by the assault.

Soon after she sent Hayne a text: "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".

Hayne replied: "Go doctor."

"It was clear she said 'no' several times and further indicated it with her actions," Judge Syme said.

Hayne's lawyers have launched an appeal against his conviction which will be heard at a later date.

Originally published as Judge's damning jail prediction for Hayne



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