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SCA to hand down Hewitt judgment

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The Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein is expected to hand down judgment on Thursday in an appeal by former Grand Slam champion and convicted rapist Bob Hewitt.

Hewitt is appealing his six-year sentence for raping two women when they were teenagers and sexually assaulting another.

Judgment was expected to be handed down at 11:00.

During arguments on May 3, his lawyer Johann Engelbrecht told the three judges in the SCA that Hewitt was a changed man and that he had not continued raping young girls.

He said the trial court should have considered that when one of his victims said it was painful, Hewitt had withdrawn.

The time that had elapsed since the crimes should also be considered.

In March last year, Pretoria High Court Judge Bert Bam had found the 75-year-old guilty of raping Suellen Sheehan and Theresa “Twiggy” Tolken.

Sentencing ‘difficult’

Bam sentenced Hewitt to eight years each for the rapes in May. Hewitt had coached the women in the 80s when they were teenagers.

Two years of each sentence was suspended for two years, provided he paid an amount on each count towards a department of justice programme against the abuse of women and children.

In the 90s, he coached another teenage girl – who may not be named – who was sexually assaulted.

For the indecent assault, he received two years.

The sentences would run concurrently, Bam said at the time.

Hewitt had applied for leave to appeal Bam’s conviction but the application was dismissed. However, Bam granted Hewitt’s team the leave to appeal his sentencing.

He said earlier that Hewitt’s age, his health and the time that had elapsed since the incidents made the decision to impose a correct sentence very difficult.

[Source: News24]
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