Former NRL star Jarryd Hayne, who's accused of attacking a woman in her bedroom, will face a retrial in Sydney on rape charges.
Prosecutor Brian Costello confirmed on Wednesday in the Newcastle District Court that the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions would pursue two rape charges against Hayne after his first trial in Newcastle ended in a hung jury.
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The jury of eight men and four women was discharged on December 7 after a two-week trial when they failed to reach a verdict.
There's been a stunning development in the sexual assault trial of former NRL star, Jarryd Hayne, with the jury discharged.
After two days of deliberations, jurors were unable to reach a verdict - meaning Hayne will likely face a second trial.@TysonCottrill pic.twitter.com/gpDVROxvIr
— NBN News (@nbnnews) December 7, 2020
Judge Tim Gartelmann on Wednesday said if the trial went ahead in Newcastle, it was unlikely to be accommodated until late 2021 or early 2022.
The judge said the Newcastle courts' diary had been impacted by COVID-19, causing delays.
Mr Costello indicated there was a possibility the trial could be heard earlier in Sydney.
The case was briefly adjourned to allow Mr Costello and Hayne's defence lawyer Penny Musgrave to discuss their options.
Both parties returned a short time later with Ms Musgrave, who appeared via audio visual link from Sydney, telling the court she had spoken to the court listings manager who indicated Hayne's two-week trial could start in Sydney on March 8.
Haye retrial to get underway in March
Mr Costello said the application to move the trial to Sydney was not opposed given it would proceed much more expeditiously than if it returned to Newcastle.
The judge listed the case for a readiness hearing in Sydney on January 29 with the trial to begin on March 8.
Hayne's bail was continued until January 29.
Hayne, 32, who was excused from appearing in court on Wednesday because he had legal representation, has pleaded not guilty to two charges of aggravated sexual assault recklessly inflicting actual bodily harm.
The offences allegedly occurred when the former Kangaroo and State of Origin rugby league player visited the woman, then aged 26, at her home on Newcastle's outskirts on September 30, 2018 - the night of the NRL grand final.
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