Former NRL star Jarryd Hayne’s victim details devastating impact in front of his wife

Jarryd Hayne’s rape victim has spoken in court about rumours and innuendo that swirled around the case, saying the assault left her feeling “dirty and violated”.

“People talk about my vagina, my choices, and like to give their opinions based on what they’ve heard and it is the most helpless feeling,” the woman, who cannot be identified, told the Newcastle District Court on Wednesday.

Hayne is facing a sentence hearing as he gets set to learn how long he will spend in jail. He had a dozen friends and family waiting to protect him from the rain and push away reporters as he arrived for sentencing.

The 33-year-old was found guilty in March by a jury of the sexual assault of the then 26-year-old woman at her Newcastle home in September 2018.

He intends to appeal the guilty verdict, saying “I’d rather go to jail knowing I spoke the truth than be a free man living a lie.”

The court previously heard it was “inevitable” he would be jailed after being found guilty of two counts of sexual assault.

He was found not guilty of the more serious charges of aggravated sexual intercourse without consent, recklessly inflicting actual bodily harm.

As Hayne entered the court on Thursday morning, several of his supporters shoved umbrellas in front of journalists, photographers and cameramen in an attempt to shield him from the media.

They held their umbrellas as he walked up the stairs into the court.

Inside, the woman delivered a victim impact statement in which she detailed how the assault had fundamentally changed her life.

“I know nothing will fully explain my feelings inside, but I can only try or I might regret it the rest of my life,” she told the court.

She said it left her feeling “dirty and violated, like an object and he was looking straight through me”.

The ex-NFL convert was found guilty of performing oral and digital sex on her in her bedroom on NRL grand final night on September 30, 2018.

She was left with two lacerations on her vagina, which bled profusely.

During her evidence, the woman said she refused to consent to sex because the ex-Parramatta fullback had a taxi waiting outside her Fletcher home.

Hayne had been in Newcastle for a two-day buck’s party and had stopped off after conversing with the woman over social media.

She relived the moments after he left her house, “laying on her bed, hugging her knees and staring into nothing”.

She said she had “spent countless hours crying and feeling violated”.

She told the court she had experienced nightmares and flashbacks and at times couldn’t get out of bed because of depression and anxiety.

“I don’t remember the last time I had a proper night’s sleep,” she said.

It had fundamentally changed the direction of her life and she had not worked for six months, also being forced to put her study on hold.

Hayne had been in Newcastle for a two-day buck’s party for a former teammate and had organised to pay a cab driver $550 to take him back to Sydney.

The woman said when she heard the taxi beeping outside her bedroom window she resolved there was “no way” she was going to consent to sex.

Hayne was drinking on the taxi ride to the woman’s house and left the empty bottle of a pre-mixed alcoholic drink on the letterbox on his way to the door.

During the trial, Hayne gave evidence that he went into the woman’s bedroom and lay on her bed where he attempted to “break the ice” by singing along to some of his “go-to” songs on YouTube, including an Ed Sheeran cover of Oasis’s Wonderwall.

According to the woman’s evidence, he forcibly kissed her and pushed her head into the pillow.

The woman did not immediately go to police, and an investigation only began when her brother-in-law phoned a journalist, who advised the family to contact the NRL integrity unit.

Where to get help:

• If it’s an emergency and you feel that you or someone else is at risk, call 111.

• If you’ve ever experienced sexual assault or abuse and need to talk to someone call the confidential crisis helpline Safe to Talk on: 0800 044 334 or text 4334.

• Alternatively contact your local police station

• If you have been abused, remember it’s not your fault.

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