The jury in Jarryd Hayne’s sexual assault trial has been unable to reach a unanimous verdict on both of the serious charges he is facing, a court has heard.
In one of two notes passed to Judge Peter Whitford SC on Friday afternoon, the jurors said they could not reach a decision but were prepared to return next week to “re-examine” the evidence.
The jury of eight men and four women have been deliberating since Thursday afternoon over whether Mr Hayne is guilty of sexually assaulting a woman in Newcastle on NRL grand final night 2018.
Mr Whitford urged the jurors to keep deliberating before he released them for the weekend to return to their duties on Monday.
Mr Hayne, 32, is on trial at Newcastle District Court, charged with two counts of aggravated sexual intercourse without consent recklessly inflicting actual bodily harm.
He is fighting claims he forced himself on the woman by pulling off her pants before performing digital and oral sex on her at a home on Newcastle’s outskirts.
The court heard she suffered two lacerations to her genitalia during the encounter, causing considerable bleeding, as a taxi waited outside to drive Mr Hayne to Sydney.
The former Parramatta fullback was in town for a buck’s party and arranged to meet her on September 30, 2018, after they exchanged a series of flirty messages over social media in the weeks before.
He claims the sex was consensual and the woman’s injuries were caused by his finger.
Mr Hayne’s barrister Phillip Boulten SC on Thursday told the jury the woman’s injuries were simply a result of his client’s “bad sex”.
“He was trying to please her, sexually. But it ended really badly,” he said in his closing address.
“It caused her a lot of pain, discomfort and grief. And to be frank his sexual prowess turned out to be terrible.”
Crown prosecutor Brian Costello argued in his closing address the jury should reject Mr Hayne’s evidence as being unreliable.
Mr Costello said Mr Hayne effectively invited himself over to the woman’s house, ditching his friends at the party and missing out on watching a grand final featuring some of his former State of Origin teammates.
“He’s given that up for one plain and obvious reason – the sex he thought he had been promised by way of those communications,” he said.
“The reason he went there was for sex; pure and simple.”
Mr Costello said the fact he had “achieved a level of fame few of us have achieved in our lives” did not permit the jury to “give him a pass”.
The trial will reconvene on Monday.