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Friday, December 4, 2015

Paedophile Robert Hughes appeals his sentence

The Court of Criminal Appeal is reviewing Robert Hughes' conviction. The hearing heard that prisoners are making his life hell in Goulburn jail and had hot water thrown at him recently, even though he's always been in segregation at the maximum-security prison.

Hughes is serving a non parole period of six years for 10 counts of sexual and indecent assault on four young girls in the 1980s and 1990s.

The judges agreed there was no denying he had experienced rough treatment from the inmates and Justice Monica Schmidt said "including having hot water thrown at him, which seems extraordinary in the custodial environment we're discussing."

Hughes' barrister Phillip Boulten SC claims the trial judge was wrong to refuse separate trials for each complainant.   Then there were the pre-trial comments on social media and interviews with Current Affair and Womans Day magazine.

His lawyer said "This is the only case I have ever seen where the complainant was paid $100,000 to go on TV and make these allegations before they went to the police."  He said they were used to "call out" and bring forward any other victims abused by Hughes when they were a child."

And it worked, they came forward and he was finally extradited from Britain and charged.

Hughes was found guilty in April 2014.  In sentencing, Judge Peter Zahra described him as a sexual predator who systematically exploited young girls and then relied on his position to ensure his victims' compliance and silence.

If the Court of Appeal lets this man go free on these technicalities, it will be a disgraceful miscarriage of justice and paedophiles like Robert Hughes will have nothing to fear from the Australian legal system.

Edit 21/12/2015:  FORMER Hey Dad ...! Robert Hughes has lost his appeal against his conviction for the sexual and indecent assault of a number of young girls.  The Court of Criminal Appeal had this morning thrown out the case, meaning the 67-year-old will still have to serve his minimum six year jail term for the assaults on girls in the 1980s and 1990s.