25 minutes of outside time and an isolated cell: Hayne’s brutal jail conditions revealed

When Jarryd Hayne approached a house on the outskirts of Newcastle on the evening of September 30, 2018, he had no idea the 46-minute encounter would lead to him spending another three years away from his family and behind bars.

Once a talented rugby league star, the 35-year-old faces the prospect of returning to Cooma Correctional Centre and picking up one of his old jobs – sewing clothes or in the prison laundry room.

Hayne, now referred to as prisoner 661736, is spending his days isolated in a 3m by 4m cell, with only 25 minutes of outside time allowed to walk around and read his bible.

The former Dally M winner has suffered a remarkable fall from grace, with his life now a far cry from the famous footballer who drunkenly approached the front door of a Fletcher house on the night of the NRL grand final in 2018 at 9.07pm.

When he emerged 46 minutes later, Hayne left a young woman in her room with blood on her bedspread and painful injuries to her vagina.

Now, almost five years after the fleeting encounter, the infamous incident has led to him being jailed for the second time.

Hayne has been used to being a household name, beginning his first-grade career with the Parramatta Eels in 2006.

But his popularity didn’t peak until 2014 when it was revealed he was leaving the NRL and months later signed on for the San Francisco 49ers in the NFL.

Hayne would only last one season, during which he was accused of leaving a US woman bleeding from her vagina following an alleged sexual assault in December 2015.

The woman brought a civil case against Hayne in 2017 as there wasn’t enough evidence for criminal charges to be laid. Hayne settled for almost $100,000 in 2019.

Throughout his career, Hayne represented NSW in State of Origin 23 times while also playing 21 times for Australia and Fiji in Test matches.

Now he is a household name for different reasons, with defence solicitor Margaret Cunneen SC telling the court during Hayne’s sentence hearing that he suffered an “extraordinary loss to a stellar rugby career”.

“In this case it was the loss of an extremely lucrative contract in circumstances which ensured he was publicly vilified for all of the period of the milestones which have occurred since the commission of the offences,” she said.

Hayne, who once made stadiums shake from the rumble of screaming fans, now stands alone in his cell dressed in his prison greens.

He is expected to return to Cooma, a medium and minimum security facility 400km southwest of Sydney that houses high-profile criminals.

During his nine months behind bars, Hayne learnt how to use a sewing machine and was put to work in the prison’s textile workshop before he was moved to the laundry room.

Hayne was earning $48.96 a week to wash his fellow inmates’ sheets over 42 hours a week – a vast fall from the $1.2m he made playing for the Gold Coast Titans.

It is not known what Hayne may go back to in prison, but Cooma offers jobs to prisoners in textiles, food services, community projects, ground maintenance and at the jail’s museum.

The money is used to buy extra food or toiletries in prison or sent back to families.

Hayne was transferred to Cooma after he was initially housed at Parklea, where he was pelted with apples after inmates recognised who he was.

The victim said she had endured a never-ending nightmare since September 30, 2018.

At the time, Hayne was 104kg while the woman was just 48kg.

In a victim impact statement read to the court on Monday, the woman said she didn’t know how to “put any of this into words”.

“From the 30th of September 2018 my life has been launched into what feels like a never-ending nightmare,” she said.

“Those types of things don’t just hurt, the assault was something horrible that happened to me, something I feel that was very private.”

The victim said she was now damaged and wouldn’t “ever be the same person”.

Judge Graham Turnbull told the court Hayne is a “completely different man” to the person who committed the offences.

“People are going to be left to suffer as a result of him being taken from them,” Judge Turnbull said.

“He is going to be doing his time in a difficult environment.”

The full story of what occurred in those fateful 46 minutes, which completely changed the trajectory of Hayne’s career and life, can now be told after an all-female legal team failed to clear Hayne of two counts of sexual assault without consent.