A period of just 27 minutes is what a jury is told to critically scrutinize after former NRL star Jarryd Hayne used a woman’s letterbox as a prop for his ‘half-finished’ Cruiser before allegedly sexually assaulting her at her home, a court said. been told
Crown prosecutor John Sfinas addressed the jury in their closing arguments on Friday morning as the two-week trial in the New South Wales District Court draws to a close.
Dally M winner, 35, has pleaded not guilty to two counts of sexual assault without consent, with the jury hearing more than eight days of evidence.
Hayne denies sexually assaulting the woman at her home on the outskirts of Newcastle in September 2018, the night of the NRL grand final, claiming they engaged in consensual sexual acts.
The former soccer star is accused of removing the woman’s pants before allegedly performing oral and digital sexual acts on her without her consent, causing cuts and considerable bleeding.
Evidence concluded in the trial of the former NSW and Parramatta fullback, with final presentations for the crown prosecution beginning on Thursday afternoon.
Jarryd Hayne (pictured outside court with his lawyer, Maragaret Cunneen SC) nears the end of his sexual assault trial after more than eight days of evidence
The woman and Crown’s prosecution argued that although she had sent him sexually suggestive messages via social media, when they first met at her home in Fletcher, which she shared with her mother, she was not consenting to have sex.
She said she refused to consent because he had a taxi waiting in his front yard, right outside his bedroom window, that had paid $550 to take him from a dollar party to Sydney, where he was booked to attend a midnight event
In the last 25 minutes of his closing speech, Mr Sfinas told the court that Mr Hayne lied to both the alleged victim and the taxi driver, saying neither would be “happy with the situation”.
The court was previously told that Mr Hayne did not respond to the woman when she asked why a taxi was waiting for him.
Sfinas said the lack of response was a “sinking feeling of being found out.”
He said Mr Hayne also lied to the taxi driver, saying he was at the woman’s house to “pick up a bag”.
“He wanted neither of them to find out,” Sfinas told the court.
‘The question of sex, which was up in the air, needed an answer sooner rather than later.
“If you accept the complainant’s version that the defendant mistreated her, you might think it was out of frustration that things weren’t moving fast enough.”
Sfinas told the court that Hayne’s version of events was implausible.
The former Parramatta Eels superstar was accompanied by his wife Amelia Bonnici (left) throughout the trial in Sydney.
He told the jury that Mr Hayne’s version was that he did what he did to “please the woman”.
“I wanted to please someone whose mailbox served as a stand for their half-finished drink,” Sfinas said.
‘He wanted to please someone who was dirty, in his words, that a taxi was waiting.
“I wanted to please someone who was crazy… I wanted to please someone who said they weren’t having sex.”
Defense attorney Margaret Cunneen SC began her opening remarks, telling the jury that there were two phases to the night in question.
She told the court that Mr. Hayne arrived at the home at 9:07 p.m. and left 46 minutes later, but the sexual activity did not occur until 9:26 p.m. in the last 27 minutes of the visit.
“He’s there for 27 minutes, while they shower, while they explain themselves…he doesn’t run off in the rude way that’s been described,” Ms Cunneen told the jury.
“Ladies and gentlemen, time does not lie and the most important moment in this case is the length of time Mr. Hayne was at the helm.”
Hayne’s lawyer, Margaret Cunneen SC, told the court that “the police had no idea” about one area of evidence in the case.
She told the court that police were “never aware” of the communications the woman had with two people in the days leading up to the alleged incident.
Ms Cunneen said it was an area of evidence “police had no clue about” until earlier court proceedings.
“Mr Hayne was indicted, the criminal justice process had been going on since 2018 as the productive years of his career slipped away,” he said.
‘A couple of years later it is discovered that this chronology that we have here was originally much shorter in three very different ways.’
She said police never learned about the communications the woman had with another man, indicating her “state of mind.”
“You can see that in the end, she deliberately selected the material that she gave to the police,” Ms Cunneen said.
‘If Mr. Hayne had committed these appalling crimes, why would he delete any of these messages?’
Sfinas said Thursday that the woman did “certain acts” that were consistent with showing that she was not giving consent during a fleeting encounter at her home.
During his closing address to the jury, Mr. Sfinas said that in terms of proving lack of consent, it separates into words and actions.
“The Crown says that the whistleblower in this matter spoke words and did actions,” he told the jury.
Hayne (pictured playing for NSW in 2007) lied to both his alleged victim and the taxi driver, prosecutor John Sfinas told the court.
The jury was told that the woman pulled up her pants when Mr. Hayne tried to remove them, while saying ‘no’ and ‘stop’ and resisting Mr. Hayne.
She had also texted her friend in the hours after the alleged incident, saying, “I’m sorry I let it happen to myself by not yelling at her.”
“You might think that trying to hold your pants is an act, walking away from someone, getting pushed, and trying to push them,” Mr. Sfinas said.
“They are actions, so while she says here, ‘I’m sorry I let it happen to me,’ the Crown says that she actually did certain acts that are consistent with showing resistance.”
Sfinas told the court that the woman had always been “frank” about her intentions with Hayne.
At the start of his speech, Mr Sfinas told jurors that Ms Cunneen asked them to view the alleged victim’s evidence “through a prism that she embellished and lied to the police”.
He told the court: ‘It is the submission of the Crown that she did not lie. She did not exaggerate and did not embellish.
Asking the jury to accept the woman’s statement, Sfinas said she was candid about her original intentions when she texted Hayne in the weeks before the alleged incident.
“She didn’t downplay, she didn’t downplay, she didn’t try to make herself look better,” he said.
‘Yes, she was sexually interested and sexually attracted…she wasn’t that desperate to meet him.’
Hayne is alleged to have sexually assaulted the woman on the night of the 2018 NRL grand final while her taxi was waiting outside her home.
Jury were told the woman was “open” to the possibility of having sex with Mr Hayne, but this was later eased when she realized a taxi was waiting outside for the former NRL star.
Mr Sfinas said this was the “defining moment” for the woman as he felt it was merely a “distraction”.
“She realizes that he did not intend to stay too long as a taxi was waiting for him and she was rushing him,” she said.
The court heard that the woman did not initially report the matter to the police because she was afraid of what might happen to her.
In a message to a friend, the court was told she wrote: “I’m too scared to report him, he would have the money to ruin me and the last thing I need is my life in the public eye.”
The Crown said it was compelling evidence because at the time the alleged incident occurred, the woman said she was not sure what had happened.
Sfinas said the woman was not sure if she had been digitally penetrated.
“It was at a time when she did not want to go to the police, it significantly informs her authenticity,” he said.
“You might think that these actions are not consistent with someone preparing to lie, embellish, exaggerate or deceive.”
The court was told that the taxi was “the straw that broke the camel’s back”.
Sfinas read in court some of the woman’s pre-recorded evidence at the trial.
When asked how she felt after the taxi driver knocked on the door, the woman said “absolute crap.”
“I felt like it was obvious what he wanted, I felt sad and stupid for flirting with him at first,” she said.
“There was no way I was going to touch him… I was angry, I was hurt, I was sad, I felt like in my mind I thought this could one day, maybe turn into something, so when I worked out he just wanted (sex) I felt shit.’
Closing speeches continue before Judge Graham Turnbull on Friday.