Jarryd Hayne hits back at sexual assault accusation in court

Jarryd Hayne has emphatically denied sexually assaulting a woman during a grand final night meet-up at her Newcastle home, with the ex-NRL star telling a court she never said “no”.

Hayne on Friday denied the allegations levelled against him as he stands trial in Sydney’s Downing Centre District Court where he has pleaded not guilty to two counts of aggravated sexual assault recklessly inflicting actual bodily harm.

The woman, who was 26 at the time, has previously testified that she repeatedly said “no” and “no Jarryd” after inviting the former Parramatta and NSW fullback to her Fletcher home which she shared with her mother.

Hayne travelled to Newcastle for a two-day buck’s party for Fijian test teammate Wes Naiqama on September 29 and 30, 2018 before the incident.

He and the woman had been communicating via social media for several weeks, sharing sexually suggestive messages including one in which she said she had “imagined what it would be like to be ****ing you.”

But she says she refused to consent to sex after realising Hayne had a taxi, which he had paid $550 to drive him from Newcastle to a midnight engagement in Sydney, waiting for him outside her house.

According to the Crown prosecution, Hayne performed oral and digital sex on the woman without her consent, causing two lacerations to her genitalia and substantial bleeding.

Hayne told the court that when he arrived at the house, that the issue of consent was still “up in the air”.

“There was no consent up until that point,” Crown prosecutor Brian Costello asked.

“Yes,” Hayne said.

However, he denied the woman’s claim that she repeatedly said “no” as he began kissing her.

“She never said no,” Hayne said. “None of that happened.”

He said that after arriving at the house, he went into her bedroom and had laid down with her on her bed where he attempted to serenade her by singing along to some of his “go-to” songs on Youtube including an Ed Sheeran cover of Oasis’ Wonderwall.

At one point he went into the lounge room to watch the Sydney Roosters’ grand final win with the woman’s mother.

He told the court that he remarked that he was “jealous” of the Roosters’ premiership victory because in 2016 he had a chance to sign with the club and he had thoughts that it could have been him holding the NRL trophy aloft.

He said that he had a personal connection to the club through his association to former NSW teammates Boyd Cordner and James Tedesco.

Costello suggested that the only reason he left the buck’s party early, and did not instead stay to watch the end of the game with his mates, was that he believed he would have sex with the woman at her house.

“The reason you left the buck’s party was to go to (the woman’s house) with the expectation that you were going there for sexual intercourse,” he said.

“No,” Hayne replied.

The trial before Judge Helen Syme continues.

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