news

BREAKING: Robert Hughes has been sentenced.

Robert Hughes.

Former Hey Dad! star Robert Hughes has been sentenced to 10 years and 9 months for 10 child sex offences, with 6 years non-parole.

The actor, 65, was found guilty on April 5 of sexually and indecently assaulting young girls.

Hughes showed no emotion and there was no reaction from the gallery as the sentence was handed down in Sydney’s Downing Centre Court this afternoon.

 Judge Pete Zahra took more than two hours to cover Hughes’ crimes and the impact they had on victims. Hughes’ wife, Robyn Gardiner, was not in attendance.

Judge Zahra said Hughes had “exploited the naivety and youth of the victims involved.”

He added that Hughes’ conduct was brazen and predatory, and that the offences were “of an extremely high order.”

Sarah Monahan Morris, who played Hughes‘ daughter on the popular TV series and was one of his victims, spoke to Ben Fordham of 2GB after the sentencing this afternoon.

She told Ben she cried reading Judge Zahra’s remarks.

“He was just sleazy. He would do stuff  in such plain sight, that people didn’t even realise what he was doing,” she said of Hughes.

“Because you would look at him touching someone, and you think he’s so brazen I must be imagining it, he can’t possibly be touching someone on the breast, or on the arm,” she said.

“He was just so open, I guess people were just numb to it. He made me never want to go back to the industry”.

Asked what she hoped for Hughes behind bars, Monahan said: “I hope that he comes to the realisation that he probably shouldn’t have done what he did.”

“I do hope that he realises that he’s a very, very, very bad man,” she said.

ADVERTISEMENT

The victim impact statements read aloud in court by a police officerat the beginning of the sentencing hearing on 2 May offer further insight into the devastating consequences of Hughes’ abhorrent acts.

One victim said she wished Hughes “nothing but misery,” while another sexual abuse survivor said she has “never truly felt safe again” after being sexually abused by Hughes at his home.

“As a child, I never wanted Santa to come into my room at night to leave presents,” she said.

Monahan said in her victim impact statement that she had left the entertainment industry because she wondered “who was going to sexually harass me, who would cover it up and who would be forced out to keep the star happy.”

Sarah Monahan and Robert Hughes.

“Acting has made me feel vulnerable and dirty,” she said.

Another said “I will never have children because of Robert, I never want to risk having a kid going through what I did.”

In early April, the jury agreed that between 1983 and 1991, Hughes had molested three girls aged between six or seven and 15.

He was convicted of 10 counts of sexual and indecent assault, and immediately taken into custody.

During Hughes’ five-and-a half week trial, two of the victims described how Hughes came into the rooms where they were sleeping and sexually assaulted them as they lay in bed.

One recalled Hughes telling her ‘‘good girl” and passing her a teddy for comfort before leaving the room.

 

 

Comments closed on this post at 4:39pm, Friday 16 May 2014.

00:00 / ???