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Shamed former NRL star Hayne plans another appeal

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Former footballer Jarryd Hayne will again try to overturn his rape convictions after being jailed in his third trial.

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The 35-year-old former rugby league star was found guilty on two counts of sexual intercourse without consent for an incident at a woman’s home near Newcastle on the night of the 2018 NRL Grand Final.

Hayne went back into custody in April, 10 days after a jury ruled he sexually assaulted the woman using his hands and mouth.

The guilty verdict came after a hung jury in his first trial in 2020 and a previous appeal overturning the 2021 guilty verdict of a second trial that resulted in Hayne spending nine months in jail.

The ex-footballer’s previous time in custody was factored into his May 2023 sentence of four years and nine months, with a non-parole period of three years.

Hayne will be eligible for parole in May 2025, but his lawyers will argue his convictions should be quashed and he should be freed before then.

Solicitor Phoebe MacDougall told the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal on Thursday it would take three or four hours for barrister Tim Game SC to argue the case.

In addition to arguing an unreasonable verdict, some grounds of the appeal relate to matters raised during Hayne’s trial.

Mr Game represented Hayne in a previous appeal, securing his release from prison in February 2022.

Hayne will watch via audio-visual link from custody when the appeal is heard in April.

The woman he sexually assaulted, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, told Hayne’s sentencing hearing her life had been “launched into what feels like a never-ending nightmare” in the aftermath of the rape.

“I am stronger and I am wiser, but I am damaged and I won’t ever be the same person,” she wrote in a statement read to the court.

1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732)

National Sexual Abuse and Redress Support Service 1800 211 028

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