Uncertainty over Hewitt sentencing date

2015-05-18 05:45
Bob Hewitt (Felix Dlangamandla, Netwerk24)

Bob Hewitt (Felix Dlangamandla, Netwerk24)

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Johannesburg – It is unclear if sentencing procedures for convicted rapist Bob Hewitt will take place as scheduled at the High Court in Pretoria on Monday.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Velakhaya Mgobhozi on Sunday said that previously the defence had indicated they wanted a pre-sentencing report.

“I’m not sure if they have that or not. We’ll see tomorrow [Monday] in court.”

On Sunday, SABC news reported that Hewitt's attorney would be asking for a postponement of the sentencing.

Lawyer Terry Price said that he had received a report by an expert witness, whom the prosecution wanted to call upon in aggravation of sentencing, only on Thursday.

“We're not going to be ready and we're going to apply for a postponement,” Price told SABC news.

He also said it was “absolutely certain” that the defence would appeal the judgment.

During court processes last month, Price was granted a postponement as he said criminologist Dap Louw needed the court's record to complete his report – which at that stage had not been fully transcribed.

Guilty verdict

In March this year, the 75-year-old former Grand Slam tennis champion was found guilty of raping two girls he gave tennis lessons to in the 80's and of sexually assaulting another.

He had pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.

Judge Bert Bam delivered a ruling in which he 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.

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.

Read more on:    bob hewitt  |  pretoria  |  sexual abuse

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