Hayne claims rape conviction was 'flawed'

Hayne claims rape conviction was 'flawed'

Jailed former NRL star Jarryd Hayne should be acquitted or at least retried due to a number of issues in convicting him of sexual assault, his appeal hearing has been told.

Hayne's barrister Tim Game SC told the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal on Monday that his trial judge gave directions to the jury that were “flawed in almost every possible way”.

The former representative player faced a re-trial after his first ended with a hung jury, and was found guilty of attacking a woman in her NSW Hunter bedroom on the night of the 2018 NRL grand final.

Hayne, 33, only stopped attacking the 28-year-old victim when she started to bleed while he performed a number of sex acts on her, not when she told him to stop, the sentencing judge said.

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

Mr Game outlined four main grounds of appeal including “the jury verdict in respect of both counts was unreasonable”.

He also said trial judge Helen Syme was in error to give certain directions to the jury he described as “highly problematic”.

Words such as “may” and “might” confuse the legal issues, and a jury could not be satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt in convicting him, Mr Game said.

Prosecutor Brett Hatfield did not say the judge's directions were in error, but rather the language could have been tighter, and that “perfection is not required”.

Mr Game says there was ample evidence that showed the victim had an “abiding interest in having sex with Jarryd Hayne”, and the Crown ran the gauntlet with its case in a number of ways.

The defence lawyer also took umbrage with “highly prejudicial” evidence being admitted into the second trial of an exchange between a lawyer and the victim while she was under cross-examination in the first trial.

The effect of it was likely to bring about a “very sympathetic response” by the jury towards her, he said.

But the Crown argued the woman appeared very deflated and flat directly after this exchange, and her unemotional and monotone responses would be incongruent without the jury witnessing what had occurred moments earlier.

In March, Hayne was cleared of two counts of aggravated sexual intercourse without consent inflicting actual bodily harm, related to bleeding the woman sustained during the incident.

In pre-recorded evidence, the trial was told how he left his friends drinking at a bucks party to meet up with the woman.

Hayne testified that the woman had become “filthy” and he knew she did not want sex after she'd found out about him leaving a taxi waiting outside, but that he wanted to “please her” in other ways.

The Crown successfully argued Hayne had no reasonable grounds for believing the woman would have consented to any sexual activity that evening.

Hayne's appeal hearing against his conviction continues while he watches on via video link.

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