Disgraced NRL star Jarryd Hayne has hired a top barrister in an attempt from behind bars to have his sexual assault conviction overturned.
The former footy star continues to claim his innocence, months after he was jailed for a maximum five years and nine months for sexually assaulting a young woman in Newcastle in 2018.
Hayne will appear via Zoom at the Court of Criminal Appeal on Monday in an attempt to overturn the conviction.
He has enlisted the help of NSW Bar Association president Tim Game SC, who’s regarded as one of the best appeals lawyers in Australia and charges up to $14,000 a day.
Mr Game has already lodged his grounds for appeal to the court in writing, News Corp reported.
Disgraced NRL star Jarryd Hayne (pictured with wife Amelia) has launched another appeal against his sexual assault conviction
He has 41 years experience as a barrister and was appointed senior counsel in 1996.
‘He (Game) is able to find fault in others’ decisions and convince a panel of judges he’s right. That’s not easy to specialise in, one DPP lawyer previously told News Corp.
Hayne, who once earned up to $1.2million a season, has already served six months of his minimum sentence of three years and eight months.
His latest appeal is based on what has been described as ‘legal argument’ related to the verdict.
The appeal will be held before a three-person panel of Supreme Court judges and isn’t expected to run beyond Monday.
The panel can decide on a number of outcomes, depending on whether Mr Game QC intends to appeal the conviction, the severity of the sentence or both.
Hayne spends 17 hours a day inside his prison cell at Cooma Correctional Centre, a medium and minimum security facility 400km south-west of Sydney which houses mostly high-profile white collar criminals.
Jarryd Hayne has enlisted the help of NSW Bar Association president Tim Game SC (pictured) in his latest appeal to be heard by the Court of Criminal Appeal
A woman aged in her late 20s recently filed a damages claim for battery and assault in the NSW Supreme Court, after Hayne was convicted of sexual assault in March.
She has filed an ’embarrassingly hopeless’ case against the jailed former NRL star, his lawyer told a court in October.
David Baran said the case pleads out a re-enactment of what was alleged in the criminal trial and had a ‘whole multitude’ of issues.
Those include no explanation for the torts of battery and assault and no detailing of a claim for aggravated damages.
‘The entire pleading is embarrassingly hopeless,’ he told the court in October.
Efforts to rectify the issues have gone unanswered, the court was told and could be impacted by Hayne’s upcoming criminal appeal hearing.
‘If the Court of Criminal Appeal overturns it, a number of dimensions of this case change,’ Mr Baran said.
The disgraced footy star (pictured with his wife Amellia Bonnici) has already spent six months behind bars
Gerard Gooden, representing the woman, also expressed frustrations with the other side, including getting no ‘sensible response’ about proposed suppression orders.
The woman’s identity is suppressed by law but Mr Gooden has proposed having the court suppress identities of all parties, including Hayne.
Mr Baran said Hayne’s convictions couldn’t be used as a fact of the case.
He suggested if it wasn’t removed, Hayne would ask the court to set aside such references, as part of a broader strike out application.
But Mr Gooden said the convictions weren’t ‘proof of the facts but they are relevant’.
‘In regard to the pleading, if my friend wishes to agitate that matter, he can put on his motion,’ he told the court.
‘We don’t accept what he’s saying.’
Registrar Karen Jones agreed to adjourn the civil case until February 2 to permit the conviction appeal to be finalised.
A Sydney jury in March found Hayne had – beyond reasonable doubt – sexually assaulted the woman in her bedroom the night of the 2018 NRL Grand Final.
Hayne pictured with wife Amellia Bonnici. He was sentenced to a non-parole-period of three years and eight months
In sentencing the 33-year-old to a non-parole-period of three years and eight months, District Court Judge Helen Syme said the victim’s honesty had been tested at length during Hayne’s trial but the jury and the judge believed her, not Hayne.
‘She (the victim) has every right to feel safe from attack in the privacy of her home,’ the judge said.
‘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.’
TIMELINE TO JARRYD HAYNE’S FOOTBALL DOWNFALL
Hayne, who has always maintained his innocence, has already filed a notice of intention to appeal his sentence for following his rape conviction
1988: Jarryd Hayne is born in Sydney, the son of Manoa Thompson and Jodie Hayne.
1994: Hayne begins playing junior rugby league in western Sydney.
2006: Hayne makes his NRL debut for the Parramatta Eels aged 18 against the Penrith Panthers.
2007: The speedster makes his representative debut for New South Wales and Australia.
2008: He signs a $2million extension with Parramatta.
2008: Hayne was shot by a bikie gang member during a night out in Sydney’s Kings Cross, an event he said was a turning point in his life.
2008: After missing out on a place in the Kangaroos World Cup squad he plays for Fiji, later turning to religion.
2009: The star fullback leads the Eels to the NRL Grand Final and wins his first Dally M Medal.
2014: Hayne wins a second Dally M Medal and leads the NRL in tries scored.
2014: He announces his departure from rugby league to attempt a career in the NFL.
2015: Hayne signs a three-year contract for US$1.58million with the San Francisco 49ers.
2015: Hayne is accused of raping a virgin during a night out in San Jose, California – an allegation Hayne denies.
2016: He retires from the NFL and joins the Fiji rugby sevens team in the hopes of making the 2016 Rio Olympics.
2016: Hayne returns to the NRL signing with the Gold Coast Titans on a million-dollar contract.
2018: He signs with the Parramatta Eels on a cheaper-than-usual contract.
2018: Hayne is charged with aggravated sexual assault relating to an alleged incident on Grand Final night in the Hunter region.
2021: The footy star is found guilty of rape in Newcastle District Court and sentenced to a minimum term of three years and eight months behind bars.
Hayne is then sued by the young woman he was convicted of raping.
The woman aged in her late 20s is claiming damages for battery and assault in the NSW Supreme Court