The conviction of late football star Jarryd Hayne has been overturned for raping a woman in her Newcastle home on the night of the 2018 NRL Grand Final.

By James Cooney for Daily Mail Australia and Aap and NCA NewsWire

01:38 June 12, 2024, updated 02:34 June 12, 2024

The conviction of late football star Jarryd Hayne has been overturned after he was accused of raping a woman in her Newcastle home on the night of the 2018 NRL Grand Final.

The 36-year-old spent the last year behind bars after a jury found him guilty of two counts of sexual intercourse without consent in April 2023. An earlier guilty verdict was also overturned on appeal.

The New South Wales Court of Criminal Appeal on Wednesday overturned Haynes’ convictions on the grounds that a judge had erred in not allowing the plaintiff to be further cross-examined during the trial.

The appeals court also ruled that the trial judge did not properly instruct the jury on how to deal with allegations that the plaintiff had lied.

Disgraced NRL star Jarryd Hayne has successfully overturned his conviction for allegedly raping a woman in her Newcastle home

A third ground of appeal, arguing that the now-overturned convictions were unsafe or inappropriate, was not upheld.

The former Parramatta Eels fullback appeared in court wearing a green tracksuit provided by the prison and a weary expression as he awaited the decision on his appeal.

The Attorney General will consider whether Hayne should be tried a fourth time.

Haynes’s lawyer said he would file a bail application on Wednesday afternoon.

Hayne was accused of raping a woman in her home on the night of the 2018 NRL Grand Final.

Three separate criminal trials heard that the woman, whose identity cannot be verified for legal reasons, changed her mind about having sex with Hayne after she realised there was a taxi waiting outside her house to take him from Newcastle to Sydney.

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

The ex-player’s defense team also argued that the woman should have been cross-examined to find out why she allegedly told police: “If this news gets out, I’m screwed and he’ll get away with it.”

A court will decide on Hayne’s bail on Wednesday afternoon. Image: NCA NewsWire / Vincent de Gouw

During the third trial, it was revealed that the woman had sent messages to a man in the hours before the incident with Hayne.

In it she said: “If we don’t talk any further, I agree that Jarryd will come to her house.”

They were only discovered when this man contacted Haynes’ lawyers.

The plaintiff messaged another woman on the same day she met Hayne, saying the footballer had “licked” her, but did not say it had happened without her consent.

The court was told that the woman had heard Haynes’ previous appeal in 2021 and had contacted her social media friend on Facebook on the same day.

“I hope this was worth it for you,” read the message.

“The pain I’ve endured through all of this is unfathomable. I never lied. I never did anything to you, and you writing to JH about me inviting him to visit doesn’t excuse what happened.

“I didn’t tell you because it was disgusting and confusing to me. When he comes out, you can thank yourself. This was the hardest and most painful thing I’ve ever been through, and you can thank yourself for helping a guilty man.”

Haynes’s lawyers attempted to rely on the messages to argue that the victim “intentionally kept her communications secret because … they did not support her version of events and then (possibly) attempted to influence her to give evidence.”

Judge Graham Turnbull, who presided over Haynes’ third trial, rejected requests to cross-examine the woman on the statement on the grounds that it had “almost infinitesimal weight”.

One of the successful grounds of appeal was the non-admission of further cross-examination.

Haynes’ overturned conviction followed a hung jury in his first trial in 2020 and a previous appeal that overturned the guilty verdict from his second trial in 2021.