News State New South Wales ‘Why didn’t police act?’

‘Why didn’t police act?’

Robert Hughes
The sitcom dad is serving a six-hear sentence for abusing young girls. Photo: AAP
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The mother of a woman abused by Hey Dad! star Robert Hughes has demanded to know why police did nothing when the crime came to light in the 1980s, calling for an independent investigation.

Hughes is due to be sentenced on 10 child sex offences this week.

Fairfax reports the woman’s mother, who cannot be named for legal reasons, says while the recent investigations were conducted with the “utmost integrity” an independent body needed to look into why police did not lay charges at the time.

“We first went to police about Hughes in 1988 when my daughter was nine-years-old and they said there was nothing they could do,” said the woman.

“I want to know why.”

Hughes’s District Court trial heard the woman’s daughter was abused by the actor at least three times as a child.

“She crawled up next to me one day and said ‘Mummy, the next time Robert rings can you please say I can’t go?’,” the woman’s mother told Fairfax.

The woman and her daughter reported the abuse to the school, with police taking a statement about a week later – but nothing was done.

The girl’s school said it was already aware of the behaviour but had legal advice saying there was nothing it could do.

“The detective said ‘I can’t proceed’,” the woman said.

“He was quite distressed. He said ‘I’ve tried to get this guy but every time I do someone covers for him’.”

The woman said her daughter was “devastated” when the police said they couldn’t do anything.
“I remember her saying ‘Why doesn’t anyone believe me’?”

The daughter’s victim impact statement was read to court during Hughes’ sentencing trial.

“For 26 years I’ve tried to deal with the fact that this has just happened and nothing has been done to correct it,” the woman said.