Sex offender Robert Hughes to seek new life in UK if he is released from prison

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Convicted child sex offender Robert Hughes plans to “maintain a very low profile” in the United Kingdom if he is granted parole and deported, a Sydney court has heard. 

The disgraced Hey Dad! actor has been in prison since 2014, after he was found guilty of 10 sexual and indecent assault offences committed in the 1980s.

He was handed a minimum sentence of six years and has been eligible for parole since April 2020.

The 73-year-old appeared before a hearing of the State Parole Authority in Parramatta today via video link, wearing glasses and prison greens, as the court was told he and his family are still considered “deniers”.

His former co-star Sarah Monahan watched on from the public gallery, after flying from the United States to once again face her abuser.

Hughes has renounced his Australian citizenship, meaning he will be deported if granted parole.

Ms Monahan says she is no longer scared of her convicted abuser.(ABC News)

Solicitor Hannah Bruce, from the Prisoners Legal Service, said Hughes had consistently been assessed as medium or low risk of reoffending, making him ineligible for any rehabilitative programs in custody.

The court heard Hughes’ wife has made inquiries with a specialist psychologist with experience in sex offenders who maintain their innocence.

“Those specialist services are not available while he remains in custody in NSW,” Ms Bruce told the hearing.

“They are available to him on release to the UK.”

Black-and-white promo shot of the cast of Hey Dad!
Hughes was convicted of 10 indecent assault offences against child cast members committed in the 1980s.

Ms Bruce also submitted he would not be “completely unmonitored” in the UK because he’d be subject to “firm” obligations to report his contact details and travel plans with authorities.

She said his focus upon release would be “maintaining a very low profile and spending the rest of his time in the UK with his partner” while “abiding by any conditions that would be placed on him by the UK authorities”.

The panel reserved its decision for a week.

Outside the court, Ms Monahan said she was struck by how “terrible” the sex offender looked.

“He looked really, really old,” she said.

“Anybody who’s going through it and they’re scared to go into the court and see them, absolutely do it, because it takes all their power away.

“I wanted him to see me, that I was there, and that I wasn’t scared anymore.”

Ms Monahan said she did not trust the proposal that Hughes’ wife was organising specialist psychological treatment.

“On the one hand I’d prefer him to stay in jail where he’s not hurting kids, and on the other hand, it’s like let him go, let him be someone else’s problem and then I don’t have to deal with it anymore,” she said.

She believes Hughes is still a risk.

“He’s an old man and he’s frail, but they don’t change,” she said.

“He’s a denier, so he still thinks he hasn’t done anything wrong. So he’ll keep doing wrong things.”

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