HomeSportWhen Hayne will face jury again

When Hayne will face jury again


Mr Hayne has turned to high-profile barrister Margaret Cunneen SC to defend him as he faces a third trial over allegations he sexual assaulted a woman in Newcastle in 2018.Mr Hayne’s lawyers on Monday morning appeared in Sydney’s Downing Centre District Court for a hearing to determine where his upcoming third trial will be held.The court heard that it was Mr Hayne’s wish that the matter be listed in Newcastle, arguing that any trial should be held where the alleged offence occurred.Crown prosecutor Stephanie Lind opposed the application, saying that a third trial would be able to be held sooner if it were to take place in Sydney.Judge James Bennett said there was no availability for a two-to-three week trial in Sydney until February next year at the earliest.Mr Hayne’s lawyers said they were hopeful of a trial date opening up in Newcastle sooner.However Judge Bennett ruled that the trial should be held in Sydney.He listed the trial to be held at Sydney’s Downing Centre District Court on March 6 next year.Ms Cunneen made a name for herself when she prosecuted the rapist Bilal Skaf and his fellow gang members in the early 2000s.Since becoming a defence lawyer she has been involved in several high-profile cases including defending Chinese film producer Jing Wang, who was acquitted of sexually assaulting a woman at a Sydney hotel.She also defended former William Tyrrell lead detective Gary Jubelin when he was found guilty of illegally recording four conversations during the police investigation into the toddler’s disappearance.Mr Hayne was last year found guilty of sexually assaulting a woman at her Newcastle home on NRL grand final night in 2018.The former Dally M winner and ex-NFL convert sat in Cooma Correctional Centre for nine months before the state’s highest court, the Court of Criminal Appeal, quashed his conviction and ordered a retrial.Mr Hayne, who has persistently maintained his innocence, walked out of prison on February 15 in time to celebrate his 34th birthday.Mr Hayne has twice faced a jury over the allegations – his first trial in Newcastle in late 2020 ended in a hung jury.Following a second in March last year, a jury took three days to deliberate and find him guilty of two counts of sexual assault.A District Court jury in March last year found the former Parramatta Eels superstar guilty of two counts of sexual assault, accepting the woman’s version of events that he performed digital and oral sex on her without her consent.He was subsequently sentenced by Judge Helen Syme to five years and nine months jail, with a non-parole period of three years and eight months.The court heard earlier this month the Director of Public Prosecutions had elected to try Mr Hayne a third time.

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