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Jarryd Hayne wins Hunter rape case appeal


Jailed former NRL star Jarryd Hayne’s sexual assault convictions have been quashed and a third trial has been ordered.

The 33-year-old was found guilty of two charges of sexual assault without consent of a woman in her Hunter bedroom on the night of the 2018 NRL grand final.

The ex-Parramatta player faced a retrial after his first ended with a hung jury.

He was jailed in May for five years and nine months with a non-parole period of three years and eight months.

The NSW Court of Criminal Appeal on Monday ordered another trial, after quashing his convictions.

His barrister Tim Game SC put forward four appeal grounds including contending the jury was given “profoundly wrong” legal directions.

Justice Helen Syme’s directions of law were “flawed in almost every possible way”, he argued.

While prosecutor Brett Hatfield admitted the language could have been tighter, he said “perfection is not required”.

Another ground was the overruling of evidence admitted into the first trial, which Mr Game said explained the complainant’s state of mind in her “abiding interest in having sex with Jarryd Hayne”.

He also disputed a “highly prejudicial” outburst from the woman in the first trial when she yelled “no means no” under cross-examination, played before his second jury and likely to bring about a “very sympathetic response”.

But, the Crown argued the woman appeared very deflated and flat directly after this exchange, and her monotone responses would be incongruent without viewing the preceding moments.

Both trials were told Hayne had left his friend’s bucks party to meet up with the woman and forcibly performed oral and digital sexual intercourse on her.

“I do not accept the offender did not know or did not hear the victim telling him she did not want to have sex with him,” Judge Syme said.

Chief Justice Tom Bathurst and Justices Helen Wilson and Ian Harrison are to publish the reasons for their appeal decision on Monday.

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