Former teammates slammed over response to Jarryd Hayne sentence

·Sports Editor
·4-min read
Jarryd Hayne and wife Amellia Bonnici, pictured here at Downing Centre District Court.
Jarryd Hayne and wife Amellia Bonnici at Downing Centre District Court in Sydney. (AAP Image/Bianca De Marchi) NO ARCHIVING

Two of Jarryd Hayne's former teammates have been slammed for their responses to the disgraced NRL star's rape sentence.

Hayne was jailed for at least three years and eight months on Thursday for sexually assaulting a young woman who says he has destroyed her life.

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District Court Judge Helen Syme said Hayne had to be jailed because non-consensual sexual intercourse was an extreme form of violence which the community expected courts to take very seriously.

After the sentence was handed down on Thursday, two of Hayne's former teammates offered messages of support.

Tony Williams and Krisnan Inu, who both played with Hayne at various stages with the Parramatta Eels, both spoke out.

“Fn dogs,” Tony Williams wrote on his Instagram stories.

“To all Haynsy’s family and friends stay strong for him and let God do he’s thing I love you all … God always prevails.

“Before I let this be just want to congratulate the victim and the so called justice system you’ve sent an innocent brotherly to jail away from he’s kids you bunch of flops … that’s all respectively.”

Inu wrote: “Not enough words can express how I’m feeling for my lil bro."

“Don’t think justice was served to it’s proper intent. To the so called victim. Hope you actually get the help you need, because the things that was said about my boy, wasn’t what he’s about. Never has, never will be.

“I’m praying for you my Uso. Keep your faith strong like it has been, and let your loved ones come together to help look after your family. Love you Bula.

“And to his loving family, if there’s anything youse need, I got youse.”

Supporters, members of the media and police officers, pictured here jostling after the sentencing of Jarryd Hayne.
Supporters, members of the media and police officers jostle following the sentencing of Jarryd Hayne. (Photo by Sam Mooy/Getty Images)

Outrage over reaction to Jarryd Hayne sentence

Williams and Inu's responses sparked angry backlash on social media.

"Some people and some footy players need some serious help," tweeted the Ladies Who League account.

"I can’t believe some of the responses to the news about Hayne’s sentencing. And we wonder why women don’t report..."

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AAP journalist Scott Bailey tweeted: “Some of the comments by former NRL players tonight has been downright appalling. No two ways about it.

“Again, I should clarify it is the minority of former players making the comments. 

"But unfortunately those kind of voices are enough to promote a culture where victims don’t feel comfortable reporting sexual assaults.”

Mark Gottlieb of Fox Sports wrote: “Never has the rotten culture inside rugby league been so exposed than by the social media comments of some of Jarryd Hayne’s friends and supporters tonight. 

"Most players are good people and they’re the ones who should stand up and shout down the ignorant minority.

“If Hayne’s friends had come out with messages of support and said they believed he was innocent (despite being found guilty in a court of law) that is perfectly fine but that’s not what they did. 

"They targeted their vitriol at the victim. It’s despicable. They should be ashamed.”

Dilan Thampapillai of the Australian National University commented: “It’s shocking and disappointing that there are people defending Jarryd Hayne after his conviction. 

"It’s worse that there was an attempt to intimidate his victim. We have a long way to go as a society.”

Judge Syme was convinced the woman told Hayne clearly and firmly she did not want any sexual activity with him in her bedroom on the night of the 2018 NRL grand final but he ignored her, perhaps not realising he could be refused.

The judge said she had rejected Hayne's version of events and for reasons best known to himself was maintaining his innocence despite a jury of seven men and five women finding him guilty in March of two counts of sexual assault during a retrial in Sydney.

He was found not guilty of the two more serious charges of aggravated sexual assault without consent inflicting actual bodily harm.

with AAP

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