Bob Hewitt's going to jail

By Hilda Van Dyk
12 September 2016

The disgraced tennis star will have to report to a prison to begin serving his six-year sentence for rape.

Convicted rapist Bob Hewitt is going to prison.

This after the 76 year old was denied leave to appeal by the Constitutional Court on 12 September, more than a year after he was sentenced to six years behind bars for two counts of rape and sexual assault.

In his ruling Johannesburg High Court in 2015, Judge Bert Bam said the State’s evidence against Hewitt was "overwhelming".

“The three complainants have basic rights. Time did not erase the crimes. A guilty person should not go unpunished. The scales of justice tip against the accused,” he said.

Hewitt was Theresa “Twiggy” Tolken and Suellen Sheehan's tennis coach when he raped them in the 1980s.

He was convicted of the sexual assault of a third woman, another of his tennis students, in the 1990s.

During the trial Tolken testified that Hewitt touched her inappropriately and forced her to perform oral sex on him 34 years ago when she was 12. They were driving to Sun City at the time.

The third woman, who cannot be named, claimed Hewitt had rubbed up against her while coaching her in the 1990s.

If Hewitt had been convicted in his 50s, he would have received at least a 20-year jail term, Judge Bam said.

Hewitt pleaded not guilty. In 2012, he told YOU, “Of course I didn’t molest any of those girls.”

In fact, he wanted people to know he had been victimised – persecuted and accused by his former charges and colleagues.

“Overnight my life changed for the worse. It’s been traumatic for us all. There has been a good side to it though – the family Hewitt has pulled through and we’re stronger than ever.”

The disgraced former tennis star lodged two appeals after the ruling -- one against his sentence and another against the conviction. He has been allowed to remain under house arrest since then.

With both appeal applications denied, Hewitt is expected to report to a Gauteng prison soon.

Luvuyo Mfaku, spokesman for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), said arrangements have already been made with Hewitt.

Previously, his wife Delaille had begged that he not be sent to prison.

"My Lord, I have never had to beg before but I am asking you from the bottom of my heart to please let my husband return to the farm as I could not survive without him.”

Read more:

Bob Hewitt: I’m no molester

Bob Hewitt guilty of rape and sexual assault

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