News National Hey Dad! star Robert Hughes sentenced to jail
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Hey Dad! star Robert Hughes sentenced to jail

AAP
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Former Hey Dad! star Robert Hughes could spend nearly 11 years in jail after being found guilty of 10 charges of sexual and indecent assault of young girls.

Sydney District Court Judge Peter Zhara has sentenced the disgraced actor to 10 years and nine months jail with a non-parole period of six years.

In handing down the sentence, Justice Zhara said that Hughes had been denied leniency as he had not acknowledged his guilt and had shown no remorse.

The 65 year-old had taken advantage of the trust placed upon him through his “degrading”, “shameful”, “brazen” and “predatory” conduct, he said.

Hughes’ lawyer Greg Walsh said that his “devastated” client planned to appeal the conviction and sentence.

The charges relate to the abuse of girls dating back to the 1980s, when Hughes appeared on one of Australia’s most popular television sitcoms.

The victims were aged between seven and 15 years old at the time of the offences.

In his judgment, Justice Zhara said that he had to sentence the actor based on the sentencing patterns that had existed at the time the offences had occurred.

Since 1985-1990, the five-year period that the crimes occurred, sentencing periods and non-parole periods have both increased.

Hughes, who remained expressionless while the sentence was handed down, will be eligible for parole in April, 2020.

His partner, talent agent Robyn Gardiner, who supported him throughout the trial, was not in court.

The court heard how Hughes twice crept into the bedroom of a teenager while he was at a dinner party at her parents’ home.

Intruding on the “safety and sanctuary” of her room, he sexually assaulted her as she lay in bed.

She was around 14 or 15 years old.

In another assault, Judge Zahra said Hughes forced another victim to touch him while she was staying at his north shore home in the early 80s, later calling her a “good girl”.

She was around six to eight years old.

Then, while playing the father Martin Kelly in the popular TV show, he exposed himself to a young girl on set.

With AAP