Ex-NRL superstar Jarryd Hayne has rape conviction overturned in groundbreaking development

FORMER NRL superstar Jarryd Hayne has had his rape conviction overturned in a groundbreaking development in Australia.

Hayne, who won the Dally M Medal twice during his NRL career, was found guilty of sexual assault against a woman at her home in Newcastle at a trial last year.

That was the third time that the ex-Parramatta Eels star had faced a trial over the same incident and the second time he was found guilty.

Hayne had claimed that the sexual encounter had been entirely consensual, but the jury accepted the woman’s version of events that she repeatedly said “no” and “stop” and was left bleeding after he pulled her pants off.

The 36-year-old has continued to maintain his innocence and launched an appeal against his conviction in the New South Wales Supreme Court.

Justice Stephen Rothman upheld the appeal on two of the three grounds argued by Hayne’s defence team.

Hayne’s appeal relied on three grounds – the first being the verdicts were unreasonable and not supported by evidence at trial, secondly, the trial judge erred in ruling the complainant did not have to give evidence about a 2021 interaction with two people she messaged the same day the jury found she was sexually assaulted in 2018, and lastly, that the judge’s ruling resulted in a miscarriage of justice.

The Court of Criminal Appeal dismissed the first ground but allowed the appeal on the second and third grounds.

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

“Whether there is a new trial is a matter for the Director of Public Prosecutions.”

Hayne will return to court next month to learn whether the DPP will pursue a fourth trial over the allegations.

Click here to get the digital edition of League Express

Click here to subscribe to the print edition of League Express

League Express is also widely available from local newsagents across the north of England.

Click here to listen to the League Express Podcast