I'm not siding with Hewitt - victim's mom

2015-02-17 17:15
Bob Hewitt (File: Sapa)

Bob Hewitt (File: Sapa)

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Johannesburg - Despite not believing her daughter's claims that Bob Hewitt raped her, Judy Sheehan said she was not siding with the former Grand Slam tennis champion.

"I am not here to defend Mr Hewitt but to defend the truth as I know it," Sheehan told the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg, sitting in Palm Ridge, on Tuesday.

"It is for the court to judge Mr Hewitt. I'm here to defend the truth," Sheehan said during cross-examination by prosecutor Carina Coetzee.

Coetzee put it to her that her daughter Suellen Sheehan had told her that Hewitt raped her.

"She never told me," Sheehan replied.

Coetzee said Sheehan's denial was a self-defence mechanism.

"You feel guilty for not doing anything," said Coetzee.

"I am not one of those parents who would shy away from accepting child rape," Sheehan replied.

She claimed she would never have condoned it and, had it happened, she would never have allowed it to proceed.

The Sheehans' relationship with their daughter was fine until five-and-a-half years ago when they decided to stop supporting her financially.

Suellen, who sat at the back of the court, looked at her mother and smiled. She occasionally wrote notes in a book on her lap during her mother's testimony.

Sheehan said she was not friends with the Hewitts. They had never visited each other.

Suellen claimed Hewitt raped her in 1982 in his car after fetching her from school for tennis practise. She was 12 at the time.

Another woman has testified that Hewitt raped her in the 1980s. A third woman said Hewitt sexually assaulted her in the 1990s.

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

Suellen 's father Michael will testify next.

Read more on:    bob hewitt  |  johannesburg  |  crime

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