The actor who starred in an iconic Aussie TV show before he was jailed for child sex offences remains an ‘unacceptable risk’, a parole board says.
The actor who starred in an iconic Aussie TV show before he was jailed for child sex offences remains an ‘unacceptable risk’, a parole board says.

Child sex abuse TV star learns parole decision

Star of Australian TV classic Hey Dad! Robert Hughes has been denied parole for the second time in six years after he was jailed over a series of historic child sex offences.

Hughes, now 72, was in 2014 sentenced to at least six years behind bars for the sexual abuse of four young girls in the 1980s and '90s.

He was arrested in the UK in 2012 and extradited to Australia to face trial over 11 sexual assault charges before the NSW District Court.

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At trial a jury found him guilty of 10 charges including two counts of sexual assault, seven counts of indecent assault and one count of committing an indecent act.

Hughes, who played Martin Kelly in the iconic TV series, was handed a maximum prison term of 10 years and nine months.

Robert Hughes, now 72, was jailed in 2014 over the sexual abuse of four young girls in the 1980s and ‘90s.
Robert Hughes, now 72, was jailed in 2014 over the sexual abuse of four young girls in the 1980s and ‘90s.

A High Court challenge against his conviction was dismissed in 2017.

The NSW State Parole Authority announced on Thursday the body had refused Hughes' second bid for parole as it believes he remains an "unacceptable risk to the community".

In a statement the SPA said its chief concern was the actor's decision to renounce his Australian citizenship with the intention of returning to the UK upon his release.

NSW and the UK have an arrangement in place for prisoners to travel between jurisdictions and continuing serving their sentences.

But there is no such agreement for parolees - meaning any conditions imposed in NSW would be void in the UK.

Robert Hughes in character as Martin Kelly.
Robert Hughes in character as Martin Kelly.

As he is now a non-resident Hughes would be taken into detention upon his release and deported.

"Hughes renounced his Australian citizenship and would face immediate deportation to his native UK upon release from custody," the statement said.

"As NSW and the UK do not have reciprocal arrangements for parolees, if granted parole, Hughes would not be subject to any supervision or monitoring by UK authorities or be compelled to comply with any conditions ordered by the (SPA).

"Last year, Hughes also withdrew his application for an international prisoner transfer which would have seen him serve a further period of his head sentence in the UK before release to parole, with supervision and monitoring by UK authorities.

"Today, the SPA again determined releasing him to parole without the possibility of supervision or conditions would not meet the community safety test, as required under the legislation."

Hughes' prison sentence will expire in January 2025.

Originally published as Hey Dad! star denied parole



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