Bob Hewitt sentencing postponed to May

2015-04-17 13:29
Bob Hewitt (Felix Dlangamandla, Netwerk24)

Bob Hewitt (Felix Dlangamandla, Netwerk24)

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Pretoria - Sentencing proceedings against former Grand Slam tennis champion Bob Hewitt were postponed by the North Gauteng High Court on Friday.

The matter was postponed to May 18 after Terry Price, for Hewitt, told the court that criminologist Dap Louw needed the court's record to complete his report.

Price asked that a court order be made for the record, which was yet to be transcribed.

"The court record hasn't been transcribed, despite numerous [requests].

"Because the record is not available Professor Dap Louw couldn't draw a proper report without knowing what the witnesses said."

The court order was granted.

Price planned on making an application for leave to appeal Judge Bert Bam's ruling on the matter.


On March 23, Bam found the Australian-born Hewitt guilty of raping two of his former students, Theresa "Twiggy" Tolken and Suellen Sheehan in the 1980s and for sexually assaulting a third woman, who may not be named, in the 1990s.

He gave tennis lessons to the girls.

Bam said during his judgment that Hewitt had a modus operandi which was revealed in all three cases against him.

"In all three cases the victims were gullible young girls who were in their early teens when the accused started coaching them.

"All three complainants were overwhelmed by the presence and reputation of the accused and the high esteem he was held in," Bam said at the time.

He said in all three instances Hewitt had the opportunity to justifiably be in direct physical contact with each complainant without raising suspicion.

Hewitt also had the opportunity to be alone with each of the girls and to touch them intimately.

Hewitt had pleaded not guilty to the charges. He was released on bail of R10 000.


Price said on Friday, the court record would be more important for Hewitt's appeal case than for the mitigation of sentencing.

There was a possibility that Louw would request to speak to State witnesses Tolken and Sheehan.

Both women were present at the court and said Prosecutor Carina Coetzee had told them it was for them to decide whether or not they wanted speak to Louw.

"I am not going to speak to that criminologist, I don't have to, so I won't be doing that," Sheehan told reporters after court adjourned.

Tolken said she was unsure about what to do.

"You know, I want to tell the guy [Louw] you have my testimony, you have my statement.

"I don't know. It's having to open up everything again and having to rehash [the past]. The story has been told for the last two years."

Tolken lives in Auckland, New Zealand, and would be returning home on Tuesday, she said.

She wanted to come back on May 18 for the sentencing, but could not confirm that she would.

"I would like to come back for the sentencing, but I've got a family at home. I've got two 8-year-old twins and every time I'm away it rattles them [and] my partner is having to do everything.

"I'm in two minds, I mean you wonder how much more you want to give this guy [Hewitt]."

Carrying guilt

She said her mother had carried the guilt for what had happened to her daughter.

"My mom carries a lot of guilt because she let him get away with it. He had his own little girl, so they didn't know any better.

"They used to go to barbeques together and have coffee together. They didn't expect anything like this, they trusted the man."

After she told her parents that Hewitt had sexually assaulted her, her father threatened to lay charges against him.

"His wife pleaded with [my dad] and asked that he not press charges and that she would make sure they moved away and that he would get help," she said.

She stopped playing tennis shortly after the incident and had only recently started again, Tolken said.

"I stopped playing tennis seriously after that. When I finished school I stopped and I never played again. I only recently started playing again, it just affected me so much."

Read more on:    bob hewitt  |  crime

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