How Hayne’s life came crashing down

 

As Jarryd Hayne approached the humble house at Fletcher in the western outskirts of Newcastle at 9.07pm on September 30, 2018, he plonked an empty vodka cruiser bottle on the letterbox and rapped on the door.

He would emerge some 46 minutes later, leaving a young woman in her room injured, dejected and angry.

Now, more than two-and-a-half years later, the infamous incident will likely lead to him being jailed, completing a remarkable rise and fall from grace. Hayne says he will appeal the conviction.

The full story of the sexual assault can now be told in the words of the people who were there and with the evidence that was presented to the jury that found Hayne guilty of two counts of sexual assault.

 

Jarryd Hayne is likely to be jailed after being found guilty of sexual assault. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Gaye Gerard
Jarryd Hayne is likely to be jailed after being found guilty of sexual assault. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Gaye Gerard

 

 

THE 'STEAMY' MESSAGES

The woman, who cannot be named due to laws that protect the identities of victims of sexual assault, never had much interest in rugby league.

She didn't watch it, didn't follow it, but she knew of Jarryd Hayne.

He had ascended to rarefied air as one of the faces of Australian rugby league.

He was a mercurial star who, at his best, was unparalleled in skill, power and athleticism.

But she didn't really care, other than that she found him attractive and decided to follow him on social media.

While Hayne was overseas in Lebanon during an off-season trip with mates, the woman slid into his private messages on Instagram.

"You are absolutely gorgeous," the woman said.

"Price it," came Hayne's reply.

Instagram messages between Hayne and the woman he sexually assaulted.
Instagram messages between Hayne and the woman he sexually assaulted.

 

 

The woman immediately remonstrated - did he think she was an escort?

Hayne explained it away by saying that he had been communicating with another person about buying a Rolex watch and had mistakenly sent the message to her.

The woman laughed it off and the conversation soon became sexually explicit.

"I'm not going to lie … I imagined what it would be like to be f***ing you when you started talking," she told him.

"Hahaha wow," he replied.

The woman apologised, but he added "very steamy".

This was mid-September 2018, and for the next several weeks they continued to talk on social media - via Instagram and Snapchat.

THE BUCK'S PARTY

On September 29, Hayne got in a car with a mate and headed north o the M1 to Newcastle.

Along the way he made several posts to social media that alerted the woman that he would be in Newcastle that weekend.

He was in town for a buck's party for former teammate Wes Naiqama, who he had played alongside for the Fijian Test side.

"Babe, will you be here tomorrow night?" she asked the two-time Dally M medallist via text.

When he said he was planning to leave on Sunday night, she tried to arrange a time and place to meet.

He invited her out to a nightclub.

"Bring a friend," came his suggestion, noting she might be uncomfortable around a group of men she didn't know.

"Stay one more night!!!" came her plea, as she invited him out of coffee and/or breakfast.

 

Hayne leaves court with his wife Amelia Bonnici. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Christian Gilles.
Hayne leaves court with his wife Amelia Bonnici. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Christian Gilles.

 

At this point, she described herself as being in "fairyland".

She was enamoured with a high-profile celebrity who she was making plans to meet in the next 24 hours or so.

During her testimony, she said she was pondering "this could maybe one day turn into something".

She believed if they struck a chord, they might one day become a couple.

Hayne and his mates continued to drink into the early hours of the Saturday morning, leaving a bar at closing time about 4am.

He rated his level of drunkenness at this point as "about a six" out of 10.

During his trial, when asked by his lawyer if he slept that night, Hayne said: "I had like naps, little naps here and there."

Just before 8am on the Sunday, despite having been drinking heavily for an extended period of time, Hayne and the woman exchanged a series of text messages.

"Morning," Hayne said before the woman asked if he wanted to meet up.

However, instead of going to meet her, Hayne and his mates went for a game of paintball before continuing to drink on a pub crawl.

 

Ms Bonnici stood by Hayne during the trial. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Christian Gilles
Ms Bonnici stood by Hayne during the trial. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Christian Gilles

 

Hayne phoned the victim at some point during the afternoon during which they made plans for him to visit her at her house.

"I didn't invite him over," she said.

"He said if you're not coming here I'll come and see you."

Back at Mr Naiqama's house, Hayne continued to drink, alternating between alcoholic drinks and glasses of water.

Late in the evening, his former Parramatta teammate Kane Evans arranged a taxi to take Hayne back to Sydney.

Such was his gentle nature, Mr Evans arranged everything - for Hayne to pay $550 for the driver to take him on the two-and-a-half hour trip to Sydney.

Hayne then concocted an excuse to stop by the woman's house, telling driver Helen Morel that he had to pick up a bag at a house, which was on the way out to the highway.

"I just had to come up with an excuse to go past there I guess," Hayne said.

"I just didn't feel comfortable saying it like that."

And so he made his way to the woman's house, sitting in the back seat drinking a four-pack of Vodka Cruisers.

After he directed Ms Morel to the house, the car stopped and he made his way to the front door.

"I walked towards the house and I put (the empty bottle) on the letterbox," Hayne said.

THE INCIDENT

Asked about his intentions at this point, Hayne said: "I wasn't sure, I knew she was keen, had been sending flirty messages.

"It was up in the air, best-case scenario I would be having sex with her, worst-case scenario I get to introduce myself."

As for the woman, she simply wanted to meet him before he went back to Sydney. She had built it up in her head that this could one day be something special.

"Excited and nervous" is how she described her mood.

They retreated to the woman's room, she sat cross-legged at the head of the bed while he lay across it.

What followed next the woman described as "weird" and "awkward".

"He said, 'Let's do singalongs'," the woman described as he commandeered her laptop and put on Ed Sheeran's cover of Wonderwall on YouTube.

 

At this point, the woman said she was thinking, "This was really weird."

She described him as showing no interest in her as her attempted to "serenade" her, playing about three or four songs to which he sang along.

Soon after, she heard the beep, which first alerted her to the presence of the taxi, which would become so central to the case.

"Is there a car waiting? Is there a taxi outside?" she said.

"He wasn't listening, he was just singing. He wasn't paying attention."

After about 20 minutes, Ms Morel had become concerned that Hayne had passed out on the couch and wouldn't be fit for the ride back to Sydney.

She had phoned her boss and asked if there was a way to reverse the credit card charge.

"It's happened to me quite a few times when people say 'I'll be back in a minute' and they fall asleep on the lounge and someone says they're not going," Ms Morel testified.

Taxi driver Helen Morel drove Hayne to the woman’s home. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Bianca De Marchi
Taxi driver Helen Morel drove Hayne to the woman’s home. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Bianca De Marchi

The driver came to the door and knocked, which the woman's mother answered.

Hayne went out to speak to the driver while the woman spoke to her mother

"Like my heart dropped because I felt like he had only come there for one thing," the woman said.

"Like why would you get (the taxi driver) to wait outside for you for 20 minutes?

"I felt saddened because I felt like he must have only seen me in one type of way. He thought he was only going to come in for 20 minutes and then leave."

She said the presence of the taxi made her feel "like absolute crap" and "sad and stupid for flirting with him to start".

She told her mother "no way" was she going to have sex

When Hayne came back inside, instead of going to the woman's room at the front of the house, he walked straight past the doorway, down the hallway to the lounge room where her mother was watching the closing stages of the Sydney Roosters' grand final victory over the Melbourne Storm.

"Go the Roosters" and "I'm jealous," Hayne exclaimed as the Roosters toasted their premiership win on the back of Cooper Cronk's heroics to play through the pain of a broken shoulder blade.

Hayne eventually made his way back into the bedroom.

He placed the knee of his 108kg frame on the bed and broke a slat.

At this stage, the woman said she was "angry" and "hurt".

"Like he was a sleaze, he saw me as an object and he only came there for one thing," she said.

Her fairytale daydream had been pierced.

The woman testified that Hayne awkwardly attempted to kiss her, pushing her face into the pillow.

He told the jury that she kissed him back.

She told the court that he forced her jeans off despite her efforts to pull them up, saying "no" and "stop".

He claimed that she stood up and took off her own pants.

 

Hayne was this week found guilty by a jury of the sexual assault of a then 26-year-old woman at her Newcastle home. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Bianca De Marchi
Hayne was this week found guilty by a jury of the sexual assault of a then 26-year-old woman at her Newcastle home. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Bianca De Marchi

 

She described his actions a "forceful", "fast" and "rough" as he performed oral and digital sex on her, adding that she said "no" and "no Jarryd" about three or four times.

When he was asked by crown prosecutor Brian Costello how fast he had performed the sexual acts, Hayne scoffed at the question.

"I didn't have a radar on that night," he said.

The sexual acts went on for about 30 seconds.

"What brought it to a stop," Mr Costello asked.

"Blood," the victim said.

Hayne caused two lacerations to the woman's genitalia - maintaining that the injuries were an accident and that he apologised.

He got up to wash his hands while she got in the shower, blood dripping down her leg and watching as the water turned red as it circled the drain.

When she emerged from the ensuite, she noticed Hayne had blood on his face.

He washed up a second time, picked up a $50 note that had fallen on the bed and promptly left.

"He's come back out here and he's said, 'I better go'," the woman said in a police video that was played to the jury during the trial.

"And I was like, I wasn't talking. And he just went. I don't think I walked him out."

THE AFTERMATH

The woman was shocked and confused by the sudden nature of Hayne's exit.

Soon after, she texted him: "I am hurting so much."

She did not receive a reply and sent him another message.

A text exchange between Jarryd Hayne and his victim after the assault at her Newcastle home.
A text exchange between Jarryd Hayne and his victim after the assault at her Newcastle home.

"I know I've talked about sex and stuff so much but I didn't want to do that after knowing the taxi was waiting for you," she said.

"I thought you would have at least stayed. I am hurting really badly. I told my mum you got a nose bleed but I'm sitting here in my room crying because I feel weird."

Hayne curtly replied: "Go doctor tomorrow."

A video taken by the woman soon after demonstrated the severity of her injuries, showing her bed, pillows and doona covered in blood.

A still image from a video taken by the woman who was sexually assaulted by Jarryd Hayne showing blood on her bed after the assault on NRL grand final night in 2018. Picture: Supplied via NCA NewsWire
A still image from a video taken by the woman who was sexually assaulted by Jarryd Hayne showing blood on her bed after the assault on NRL grand final night in 2018. Picture: Supplied via NCA NewsWire

 

She sat on her bed, texting her best friend: "He started being really pushy like he wanted to have sex and I kept saying no.

"He ended up getting his hand down there and taking my pants off."

"If you kept saying no and now that's happened, that's rape!" came her best friend's reply.

She used the selfie mode on her camera to take a picture of her genitalia and sent her best friend a photo of her injuries.

"F**k babe that's sliced everywhere," the best friend said.

"The whole situation was just weird, his behaviour and stuff," the woman said of the incident.

At that time, she did not want to report the incident to police - she was confused, unsure if what had happened constituted rape.

Also, she was scared. She told another friend she could not take the trauma of a drawn-out public battle.

"I'm too scared to report it. He would have the money to ruin me and the last thing I need is my life in the public eye," she said.

 

A text that Hayne's victim sent to a friend after the assault. Picture: Supplied
A text that Hayne's victim sent to a friend after the assault. Picture: Supplied

 

She saw a doctor on October 3, three days after she was sexually assaulted.

For several weeks, she kept the incident locked up inside, telling only a select group of friends and family members.

Then, some four or five weeks later, she had a "meltdown" during a phone call with her sister, telling her what had happened.

This set in motion the wheels of the justice system.

Her brother-in-law, a mad keen NRL fan, had been angered by the story and rang Channel 9 journalist Danny Weidler.

Weidler told the family to call the NRL integrity unit and from there the authorities became involved.

THE POLICE INVESTIGATION

The call to Hayne's phone came through at 1.42pm on November 15 - more than six weeks since the incident.

It was the first time he knew there was something afoot.

"Hi Jarryd, it's Karyn Murphy," said Murphy, the NRL integrity unit's chief investigator.

Ms Murphy had a 25-year career in the NSW Police under her belt.

She is also considered one of Australia's all-time women's rugby league greats having played 27 Tests for the Jillaroos and made 20 appearances for Queensland.

"Um, I was just wondering if you could give me a call when you get this message, I just need to talk to you about, um, a matter," Ms Murphy said.

 

 

In the hours and days following that phone message, Hayne made and received several calls from friends and loved ones during which he discussed the allegations that were being made.

Little did he know, the police were listening in having been granted a surveillance warrant by a court.

A "weirdo" and "cuckoo" is how he described the woman, continuing to proclaim his innocence.

"Who's this sheila coming out saying something about ya?" Newcastle Knights halfback Mitchell Pearce asked.

"Oh she's, f**k, she's from Newie, bro," Hayne said before asking his former NSW Origin teammate to ask his Knights teammates about the woman.

 

 

 

Hayne added: "She was filthy cause the cab was out the front. I said, 'Oh well, mate, I'm only going to be here for, you know, a short time'."

Hayne told another friend: "F***ing spinners bro."

In the same conversation he went on to describe her as "a young cow just carrying on".

"Like she's f***ing texting me. I think she started to like me or something, then because I brushed her, f***ing blowing up."

He added: "You speak to them for a bit, they get attached and they think f***ing … Well mate you f***ing messaged me off Instagram, you idiot.

"Then cause I've flicked her, she's blown up."

Around that time, in an attempt to elicit evidence or an admission, police watched on as the woman sent him Snapchat messages, confronting him with allegations that she had not consented.

Snapchat messages sent between Hayne and the woman he sexually assaulted several weeks after the incident. Pictures: Supplied.
Snapchat messages sent between Hayne and the woman he sexually assaulted several weeks after the incident. Pictures: Supplied.

"Wtf are you on about!!!," Hayne said, maintaining they had engaged in consensual sex.

"I stopped straight away n made sure your were OK.

"We spoke for a while after n made sure you were OK be4 I left.

"Your starting to sound suss."

Hayne was arrested on November 19, 2018 at Ryde police station.

His first trial ended in a hung jury after they failed to reach a verdict; however, a jury this week found him guilty of sexual assault.

He has said he plans to appeal the conviction but in the meantime will face a sentence hearing on May 6 at Newcastle District Court.

Originally published as How Hayne's life came crashing down

The video shows blood splattered across her bedroom. Picture: Supplied via NCA NewsWire
The video shows blood splattered across her bedroom. Picture: Supplied via NCA NewsWire
Hayne maintained ‘everything’ was consensual. Pictures: Supplied
Hayne maintained ‘everything’ was consensual. Pictures: Supplied


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