Former NRL star Hayne will learn his fate in his battle for a rape conviction

Disgraced NRL star Jarryd Hayne’s latest attempt to have his rape conviction overturned will come after his lawyers accused the victim of deliberately concealing evidence.

The New South Wales Court of Criminal Appeal will deliver a ruling on Wednesday on whether Hayne was rightly sentenced to prison on charges of raping a woman on the night of the 2018 NRL grand final.

The 36-year-old has spent the past year behind bars after a jury convicted him of two counts of non-consensual sexual intercourse in April 2023, after a previous conviction was overturned on appeal.

Three separate criminal trials were told that the woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, changed her mind about having sex with Hayne when she learned there was a taxi waiting outside her house.

Wife Amellia Bonnici and Jarryd Hayne (file photo)Wife Amellia Bonnici and Jarryd Hayne (file photo)

After his third trial, Jarryd Hayne spent the last year in prison. (Bianca De Marchi/AAP PHOTOS)

Hayne’s lawyer, Tim Game SC, told the April appeal hearing that the woman had deleted messages between herself and Hayne that showed she had initially shown sexual interest in him.

He argued that these and other messages deleted from the woman’s phone constitute a deliberate concealment of facts.

“In our case, it’s a large-scale concealment of evidence,” Game said.

“Of course we say that hiding is the same as lying or cheating.”

Georgina Wright SC, representing the Crown, told the same hearing that the woman explained that she regularly deleted text messages and did not selectively choose what was deleted in order to “curate the narrative”.

Hayne’s defense lawyer also argued that the woman should have been interviewed to determine why she allegedly told police: “If this news gets out, I’m screwed and he’s leaving.”

Judge Graham Turnbull, who oversaw Hayne’s third trial, rejected requests to cross-examine the woman’s evidence, saying they had “almost infinitesimal weight”.

In a notice of appeal, Hayne’s lawyers argued that Judge Turnbull was wrong to find that the appellant should not be compelled to give further evidence, arguing that this had caused a miscarriage of justice.

They also argued that the convictions were unjustified and unsupported by evidence.

Hayne’s conviction followed a hung jury in his first trial in 2020 and a previous appeal overturning a 2021 conviction in his second trial.

1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732)

National Sexual Abuse and Redress Support Service 1800 211 028