Ed Sheeran song used by Jarryd Hayne's defence in rape trial
The Crown Prosecutor in Jarryd Hayne's sexual assault trial has urged jurors not to let the former NRL star's fame and status influence their judgement.
Hayne was back in Newcastle District Court today, as closing arguments in his rape trial were made.
He is accused of sexually assaulting a 26-year-old woman at her mother's house, in Fletcher, on NRL Grand Final night in 2018.
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In his closing argument Crown Prosecutor Brian Costello spoke of the young woman's character, describing her as a frank and honest witness.
"She admitted sex could've well have happened under the right circumstances," he said.
"The taxi waiting outside, with the meter clicking over, was hardly the right circumstance."
In closing statements, the Crown acknowledged Hayne's fame and success, but urged the jury not to let this impact its decision.
"Jarryd Hayne has achieved a level of fame and success beyond that of which most of us will achieve," Mr Costello said.
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In closing remarks, defence barrister Phillip Boulten SC said Hayne did not sexually assault the alleged victim.
"Jarryd Hayne did not commit these offences, he did not disregard protests to stop.... he did not sexually assault her," he said.
Citing the pair's suggestive interactions on social media, the defence argued Hayne "had good reason" to think the young woman "was going to engage in a fling with him".
Mr Boulten said a singalong to an Ed Sheeran song on the night of alleged assault was something done to "break the ice".
"He went to his go-to songs, he was being nice ... This is not the action of a person hellbent on sex."
The defence urged the jury to draw on their own life experiences when considering the evidence.
Closing remarks will wind up tomorrow, before the jury retires to consider its verdict.