Disgraced football star Jarryd Hayne was idolised by inmates during his brief stint in a western Sydney jail before he was quietly moved to a ‘white collar’ prison to serve the remainder of his sentence.
The convicted rapist’s first few weeks in jail can be revealed after a source close to Parklea Prison told Daily Mail Australia how the former NRL player was ‘well receievd by inmates’.
Hayne was sentenced in May to a minimum of three years and eight months in jail for the 2018 rape of a young woman in a house near Newcastle.
The source said despite concerns he would be targeted by inmates because of his high profile, Hayne was ‘hero worshipped’.
‘Many of them (inmates) had troubled upbringings…they were excited about meeting a sporting hero who had come from similarly humble beginnings,’ the source said.
Hayne begged to stay in general population at Parklea, among his ‘criminal fans’, but the decision was made to transfer him from the maximum security prison to Cooma Correctional Centre.
He was transferred on May 26.
Amellia Bonnici, the mother of Hayne’s children, has been inundated with support from Hayne’s family as she raises their children alone
Hayne was raised in a housing commission home in Campbelltown by his single mum, Jodie
Convicted rapist Jarryd Hayne (pictured with wife) will now spend his days behind the bars of a ‘white collar’ prison after being moved from his previous Sydney jail cell
Hayne was raised in a housing commission home in Campbelltown by his single mum, Jodie.
He went on to become an icon of Australian rugby league, earning $1.2million-a-season at his peak and moving to the United States to try his hand at American football, too.
Now, he sews clothes for fellow inmates for just $24.60 to $70.55 a week at the freezing southern NSW prison, some four hours from his family in Sydney.
The 33-year-old’s wife Amellia Bonnici and his two children are welcome to visit him on weekends, but the four-hour trek might make visits a less frequent occurrence than if he’d remained at Parklea.
While Hayne would have been happy to stay put and mingle with his fellow prisoners, there were concerns about how allegiances would form and that Hayne’s high-profile case could put a target on his back.
Hayne was sentenced to a minimum term of three years and eight months after he was found guilty of sexually assaulting a woman inside her home in Newcastle in 2018.
Sources confirmed Hayne had completed his first shifts in the jail’s textile workshop making inmate clothing, known as prison greens. The 33-year-old has been told his pay will now be based on the quality of his work and his productivity
Ms Bonnici, their four-year-old daughter Beliviah Ivy and their younger son (both children pictured) will be able to make the long trip for visits or book to speak to Hayne via Zoom
His supportive wife stood by him through the court proceedings and the revelation that he had cheated on her.
On May 20, three weeks after sentencing, Ms Bonnici shared a loved-up photo in happier times, smiling with their heads tilted together and her arm around her husband’s neck.
Ms Bonnici, the mother of Hayne’s two children, was inundated with warm messages from family and friends after the very public show of support.
‘So beautiful, I love you so much,’ Hayne’s younger sister Taygan said.
Hayne and Ms Bonnici were pictured holding their children at a birthday party before he was imprisoned
Cooma is a medium and minimum security facility 400km south-west of Sydney which has housed high-profile white collar criminals in recent years
Others said they would continue to pray for Ms Bonnici and her family going forward.
Ms Bonnici, their four-year-old daughter Beliviah Ivy and their younger son will be able to make the long trip for visits or book to speak to Hayne via Zoom.
Cooma is a medium and minimum security facility 400km south-west of Sydney which has housed high-profile white collar criminals in recent years.
Oliver Curtis, the husband of PR guru Roxy Jacenko, found himself jailed for a year at Cooma for conspiracy to commit insider trading in 2016.
Jarryd Hayne was considered a hero among inmates at his western Sydney jail before he was quietly transferred to a ‘white collar’ prison to serve the remainder of his sentence
Other notable names who’ve spent time inside the concrete facility include former Labor minister Milton Orkopoulos and controversial businessman Salim Mehajer.
Hayne has always maintained his innocence and already filed a notice of intention to appeal against his conviction for two counts of sexual intercourse without consent.
‘I’d rather go to jail knowing I spoke the truth rather than be a free man living a lie,’ Hayne said outside court following a jury’s guilty verdicts.
Hayne, who was given a maximum sentence of five years and nine months, has 12 months to submit his grounds of appeal. He will be eligible for parole in January 2025.
Jarryd Hayne was jailed for a minimum of three years and eight months for raping a woman at her home in 2018. He is pictured with wife Amellia Bonnici
Wages for a five-day 30-hour week of prison labour range from $24.60 to $70.55. If exceptional circumstances mean an inmate works additional hours he can receive a maximum $85 a week. The textile workshop at Cooma is pictured
Hayne, who was jailed for a minimum term of three years and eight months for sexually assaulting a woman in her Newcastle home in 2018, has quickly settled in at Cooma (pictured)
TIMELINE TO JARRYD HAYNE’S FOOTBALL DOWNFALL
Hayne, who has always maintained his innocence, has already filed a notice of intention to appeal his sentence for following his rape conviction
1988: Jarryd Hayne is born in Sydney, the son of Manoa Thompson and Jodie Hayne.
1994: Hayne begins playing junior rugby league in western Sydney.
2006: Hayne makes his NRL debut for the Parramatta Eels aged 18 against the Penrith Panthers.
2007: The speedster makes his representative debut for New South Wales and Australia.
2008: He signs a $2million extension with Parramatta.
2008: Hayne was shot by a bikie gang member during a night out in Sydney’s Kings Cross, an event he said was a turning point in his life.
2008: After missing out on a place in the Kangaroos World Cup squad he plays for Fiji, later turning to religion.
2009: The star fullback leads the Eels to the NRL Grand Final and wins his first Dally M Medal.
2014: Hayne wins a second Dally M Medal and leads the NRL in tries scored.
2014: He announces his departure from rugby league to attempt a career in the NFL.
2015: Hayne signs a three-year contract for US$1.58million with the San Francisco 49ers.
2015: Hayne is accused of raping a virgin during a night out in San Jose, California – an allegation Hayne denies.
2016: He retires from the NFL and joins the Fiji rugby sevens team in the hopes of making the 2016 Rio Olympics.
2016: Hayne returns to the NRL signing with the Gold Coast Titans on a million-dollar contract.
2018: He signs with the Parramatta Eels on a cheaper-than-usual contract.
2018: Hayne is charged with aggravated sexual assault relating to an alleged incident on Grand Final night in the Hunter region.
2021: The footy star is found guilty of rape in Newcastle District Court and sentenced to a minimum term of three years and eight months behind bars.