Hewitt was never alone with alleged victim, court hears

2015-02-17 16:13
Suellen Sheehan (File: Sapa)

Suellen Sheehan (File: Sapa)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - Australian-born former Grand Slam tennis champion Bob Hewitt was never alone with one of his rape accusers, Suellen Sheehan, the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg, sitting in Palm Ridge heard on Monday.

"Mr Hewitt never took my child anywhere," Sheehan's mother Judy told the court.

"He never picked her up anywhere and I would have known about it."

She was being led in delivering her evidence-in-chief by Terry Price, for Hewitt.

Sheehan had testified that Hewitt raped her in his car in 1982 before tennis practise after picking her up from school.

Judy, however, said she never left her daughter with Hewitt.

"Never have I left my child standing there before practise or had her waiting there to be picked up," she said, adding that much of the time she stayed to watch her daughter practise.

"I looked after her 100%," said Judy.

She rejected her daughter's testimony that she had dismissed her claims of rape.

"If this had happened, this case would of taken place some 30 odd years ago," Sheehan said.

"I want to state to her in court that never ever were we told there was a problem with Hewitt," she said.

The first time she had heard about it was through media reports.

Judy said she always supported her daughter even though at times she knew she was in the wrong.

She told the court she recalled a time when her daughter was having trouble with her boss.

"She said she would just charge him with sexual assault," Sheehan said.

She testified that she and her daughter were estranged.

The relationship broke down after the Sheehans stopped supporting her financially and paying for her rent when Sheehan was 40.

Judy said her daughter had physically assaulted her and once told police her father had raped her.

Her daughter had criticised her on Facebook and threatened to destroy her using the social media networking site.

The family has since retired to the coast and no longer speaks to Sheehan.

"Matthew (Sheehan's son) is now in hiding from his mother," Judy testified. Matthew is 21.

Under cross-examination by prosecutor Carina Coetzee, Judy said she was saddened by her daughter's conduct.

"I feel extremely said that she has chosen to treat her... mom in this matter," said Judy.

"I can never deny the fact that she is my daughter," she said.

She made a decision to not ask her daughter any more questions about the alleged rape.

If she could lie about disclosing this, she could lie about anything else, Judy said.

Sheehan is one of two women who have accused Hewitt of raping them in the 80s.

A third woman alleged that Hewitt sexually assaulted her in the 1990s.

Hewitt, now 75, has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

 

Read more on:    bob hewitt  |  johannesburg  |  crime

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
4 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

PARTNER CONTENT
WATCH: How education can change a life

A university education gives students the chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and to opportunity achieve their dreams.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.