Jarryd Hayne’s final days of freedom
Jarryd Hayne was spotted with NRL star Corey Norman as the fallen football player tries to enjoy his final days as a free man.
Dragons five-eighth Norman posted a photo to Instagram on Tuesday alongside Hayne and another friend, with the caption: "Catch ups."
It will be one of the last times Hayne will be able to socialise with mates for a while. He will be sentenced on Wednesday May 6 after being found guilty in March of sexually assaulting a woman at her Newcastle home.
After three days of deliberating a jury found Hayne guilty of two counts of sexual intercourse without consent. He was found not guilty of the more serious charges of aggravated sexual intercourse without consent, recklessly inflicting actual bodily harm.
Following a seven-day trial in Sydney's Downing Centre District Court, the jury of seven men and five women found the two-time Dally M winner and ex-NFL convert guilty of the two alternative sex assault charges.
The ex-Parramatta and Gold Coast star's fall from grace sees him facing a maximum of 14 years of prison and after his guilty verdict, Judge Syme told him "a custodial sentence is inevitable".
Hayne told reporters outside court in March he would "definitely appeal".
"I'd rather go to jail knowing I spoke the truth than be a free man living a lie," he said at the time, supported by wife Amellia Bonnici.
"I've shown it from the start, It's unfortunate, it's disappointing. But at the end of the day they've come to the decision. I respect that and I'm back on the 6th of May."
Hayne was granted bail and last month was spotted spending time with his family at a beach on the NSW Central Coast.
"He was relaxed and smiling, throwing a ball with a mate and a child," one observer told The Australian. "He spent hours on the beach and in the water. You'd never know from looking at him that these are possibly his final days of freedom."
Hayne pleaded not guilty and denied sexually assaulting the then 26-year-old woman at her home at Fletcher, on Newcastle's outskirts, in September, 2018.
During her evidence in the retrial, which was replayed from Hayne's first trial, the woman said she refused to consent to sex because the former NSW Origin fullback had a taxi waiting outside.
The pair had communicated via social media for several weeks leading up to the incident but had not met face-to-face before the evening of September 30 - the same night as the NRL grand final.
Hayne had been in Newcastle for a two-day buck's party and had organised to pay a cab driver $550 to take him back to Sydney, where he was required to attend an event at Alexandria at midnight.
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 supported throughout his legal ordeal by wife Bonnici, who he married after a whirlwind engagement.
The pair got married in January in front of about 50 family and friends, after keeping most of the details of the occasion secret to avoid prying eyes.
"We met on 26th of Jan five years ago. Thank God for sorting us out and realising we meant to be," Hayne posted on Instagram after tying the knot.
"Thank you to our Families & Friends who attended yesterday. We had an unbelievable day with you all.
"It was unfortunate to not have the honour to announce this ourselves."
The wedding came just a month after Hayne took to social media to announce his engagement to Bonnici, with who he has a four-year-old daughter, Beliviah Ivy.
With NCA Newswire
Originally published as Jarryd Hayne's final days of freedom