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Tennis star Bob Hewitt jailed for six years

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Tennis star and convicted rapist Bob Hewitt was sentenced to an effective six years in jail by Judge Bert Bam in the High Court in Pretoria on Monday.

“There are clearly no prospects of rehabilitation,” said Bam.

“The effective period of imprisonment is six years.”

On Count 1, for rape, he received an eight-year prison term, suspended for two years on condition that he pay R50 000 to the department of justice to use in campaigns against violence against women.

On Count 2, also for rape, he received the same sentence.

On the charge of sexual assault, he received two years suspended.

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

The accused alone was to be blamed for his misery, said the judge.

In March this year, the Australian-born Hewitt was found guilty of raping Theresa “Twiggy” Tolken and Suellen Sheehan in the 1980s and for sexually assaulting a third woman, who may not be named, in the 1990s.

Both listened intently as Bam spoke.

The crimes were committed while he was giving them tennis lessons.

He had pleaded not guilty.

But Bam said his present health conditions were material for mercy. He has had a stroke, operations on his knees, shoulders and Achilles tendons.

Earlier 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,” said his sobbing wife Delaille Hewitt, who is recovering from ovarian cancer.

Prosecutor Carina Coetzee said Hewitt had shown no remorse and should go to jail for five years. News24

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