SPORTS

Hayne Wants Jury, Hearing Postponed

Former Australia and Fijian rugby league star Jarryd Hayne’s rape trial - which had been due to start next month - has been postponed because he wants a jury to decide his fate.
13 Apr 2020 12:17
Hayne Wants Jury, Hearing Postponed
Jaryd Hayne during the 2015/2016 HSBC Sevens Series Photo: World Rugby

Former Australia and Fijian rugby league star Jarryd Hayne’s rape trial – which had been due to start next month – has been postponed because he wants a jury to decide his fate.

Newcastle District Court Judge Roy Ellis on Thursday indicated the May 4 trial would have been able to proceed if it was before a judge alone, but Hayne wanted a jury trial.

According to the Australian Associated Press, Judge Ellis said there would not be enough time to organise a jury panel for May 4.

He also suggested the current suspension on the use of juries during trials because of the coronavirus crisis would likely be lifted in the coming weeks.

Defence barrister Phillip Boulten SC told the court via video link from Sydney that Hayne’s legal team had considered a judge-alone trial “very carefully”, but the former NRL player indicated he would prefer a jury trial.

Boulten said the Director of Public Prosecutions would have opposed a judge- alone trial anyway.

Hayne, 32, has pleaded not guilty to two charges of aggravated sexual assault involving a woman in NSW’s Hunter Valley.

Judge Ellis agreed to vacate the May 4 trial date and ordered a new trial to begin on November 23.

Prosecutor Wayne Creasey SC said the Crown accepted the new trial date but indicated he would return to court to ask for it be changed again if the date was a problem for any witnesses.

Hayne, who was excused from attending court on Thursday, will not have to appear in person again until November 19 for the final callover of the case to confirm which judge will preside over the trial.

The trial is expected to take two weeks.

Judge Ellis agreed to a defence request to vary Hayne’s bail so he no longer has to report to police once a week.

The case will next return to court on July 2 for pre-trial argument over a subpoena.

ALLEGATIONS

Hayne is accused of sexually assaulting a 26-year-old woman on September 30 in 2018 between 8pm and 10pm in Newcastle.

Court documents state Hayne had sex with the woman without her consent and “recklessly inflicted actual bodily harm”.

He has been on bail since his arrest and was allowed to travel to Western Australia in July 2019 to attend a six-month missionary course at the Youth With A Mission centre.

The court previously heard Hayne planned to stay in a dormitory-style accommodation near the evangelical Christian centre’s training campus with other men.

Hayne was required to attend lectures and not drink alcohol.

The aggravated rape charges each carry a maximum 20-year jail term if Hayne is convicted

He played for the Fijian Bati at the 2008 and 2013 Rugby League World Cups. Hayne starred for Australia when they won the 2013 RLWC in England.

He switched to American Football before retiring to play for the Fijian 7s team at the 2015/16 World Sevens Series. Hayne missed out on the Fijian 7s team that played at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil where they won the gold medal.

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

Feedback: waisean@fijisun.com.fj

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