The wife of disgraced NRL player and rapist Jarryd Hayne has not appeared in court to support her husband, with lawyers saying this is due to the attention she has received as a result of her husband’s conviction.
Hayne appeared in NSW District Court on Monday wearing his prison green and sporting a thick beard.
The 35-year-old former Dally M winner was found guilty in April of two counts of unauthorized assault in relation to an incident at the woman’s home in Newcastle on the night of the 2018 NRL grand final.
While Hayne claims the sexual encounter was entirely consensual, the jury accepted the woman’s version of events that she repeatedly said “no” and “stop.”
The jury was told the woman refused to consent to sex because Parramatta’s ex-fullback had a taxi waiting outside.
Amellia Bonnici did not appear in court on Monday with her husband Jarryd Hayne (right), who was found guilty of rape last month
The court was told that Bonnici was not attending the proceedings due to the attention she has received as a result of her husband’s conviction
Hayne’s wife Amellia Bonnici did not appear in court to represent him, but followed the proceedings via video link.
It was the first time Hayne had been seen in public after he was sensationally taken into custody on April 14 during a Supreme Court detention order.
Hayne’s lawyer, Margaret Cunneen SC, told the court Ms Bonnici did not appear on Monday to support her husband because the publicity has had an ‘exceptional effect’ on the family.
Judge Graham Turnbull SC said it was “the same for so many people” who are in prison.
“They have committed a crime, they must be punished,” the judge said.
Mrs. Cunneen agreed, although it was true, the publicity surrounding Hayne’s case was so bad that Mrs. Bonnici had “chosen not to be here today.”
“I’ve been instructed that she continue to support, it’s just been too much with the photos taken of the children and herself,” the court heard.
“The media has been extremely negative about this and the social media has been terrible (…) the attacks were for Mr. Hayne and his wife.”
Hayne has been held at the Metropolitan Remand and Reception Center in Sydney’s western Silverwater since his bail was revoked on April 14.
A new victim impact statement was read to court on behalf of the victim on Monday by prosecutor John Sfinas, where the woman said her life has been a “never-ending nightmare” since September 30, 2018.
“I still don’t know how to put this into words,” the statement read.
“From September 30, 2018, my life launched into what feels like a never-ending nightmare.”
The woman said she hoped she could “finally move on” with her life at the end of the second trial.
But she said she hadn’t had a chance to “move on or feel at peace” and had to relive the trauma “over and over again.”
“Not only do things like that hurt, the attack was something horrible that happened to me, something that I think was very private,” the victim wrote.
The victim told the court that she had been “extremely insecure” about her body ever since.
‘In September it will be five years since this happened. I was a 26-year-old with the world at her feet, now I’m almost 31 and haven’t been able to finish university,” the woman said.
The former NRL went on trial three times for the alleged rape of a woman in Newcastle in 2018
Hayne’s lawyer, Margaret Cunneen SC, told the court Bonnici (right) did not appear on Monday to support her husband because the publicity has had an ‘exceptional effect’
“I’m stronger, I’m wiser, but I’m damaged and I’ll never be the same person again.”
In an earlier victim impact statement from 2021, the court heard the victim say she felt “shameful” for letting someone she didn’t know into her home.
The woman also felt guilty for sending Hayne to prison: “The thought of being part of someone’s father being taken away made me sick, but I kept telling myself it’s not my fault.”
Hayne’s attorney told the court the assault was “a matter of minutes at most.”
Ms Cunneen said the duration of the offense was important in the context of the case and would affect the objective severity.
Ms Cunneen told the court there was an ‘unambiguous and reciprocal sexual context’ leading up to Hayne’s rape of the woman.
“Not only was there an unequivocally sexual tinge to it (…) there was f**king by the complainant,” Ms Cunneen told the court.
She said the act took place between “two grown adults.”
“The victim knew who Jarryd Hayne was and that was why she urged him to come over,” Ms Cunneen said.
She told the court that Hayne had suffered “difficult” conditions during his previous detention, where he was unable to see his family for six months.
Hayne is also suffering while in isolation awaiting his sentence on Friday.
The court heard that he is only allowed to leave his cell, which measures only 10 feet by 15 feet, for only 25 minutes a day and can only walk and read his Bible.
Ms Cunneen said Hayne is a ‘very different man’ to the man who committed the crimes in 2018.
“He doesn’t have the personality and thinking patterns and sexual arousal patterns of a sex offender, and also because of his life which has changed significantly since the break in relationship with his current wife,” Ms Cunneen said.
“There is eloquent testimony from Mr. Hayne’s minister that he is devoted to his Christian faith.”
The court heard that Hayne suffered an “extraordinary loss” in relation to his “amazing” career, which led to him being “publicly slandered,” which has affected his job prospects.
Crown Prosecutor Mr. Sfinas rejected the defense’s claim that the communication between the victim and Hayne was unequivocal.
Mr Sfinas told the court that the Crown claims there was an “unambiguous lack of consent” in the breach.
The court ruled that “a considerable degree of fear would have been induced in the victim.”
“It was in her house, in her bedroom (…) it’s a major aggravating factor,” Mr Sfinas said.
‘The complainant weighed 48 kilograms, while Mr. Hayne weighed 104 kilograms.’
Mr Sfinas said there were quite different phases of violence leading the victim to say she was scared after the crime took place.
The court heard that the victim now looks back and thinks she was “stupid to think the way she did.”
Hayne will be sentenced on Friday by Judge Graham Turnbull SC
The Crown rejected Ms Cunneen’s claims that the duration would lower the objective seriousness of the crime, saying the conduct occurred ‘before, during and after’ the 30-second attack.
After five years, three trials, an appeal and nine months in prison, Hayne was found guilty on April 4 of sexually assaulting the woman at her Newcastle home in 2018.
It was Hayne’s third time on trial for the same incident and the second time he was found guilty.
Judge Turnbull will sentence Hayne on Friday.