Hey Dad! actor Robert Hughes’ parole decision reserved until next week

DisgracedHey Dad! star and convicted paedophile Robert Hughes wants to return to Britain to spend his remaining years with his wife and to keep a low profile,a parole hearing on Friday heard.

Hughes,73,was convicted in 2014 of a string of sexual and indecent assaults on girls in the 1980s and 1990s.

Former Hey Dad! actor Robert Hughes outside Central Local Court in 2012.

Former Hey Dad! actor Robert Hughes outside Central Local Court in 2012.Wolter Peeters

Hughes and his family have always denied his offending,the State Parole Authority heard on Friday.

Hughes renounced his Australian citizenship in 2020,meaning his visa to be in the country has been cancelled and he will be put in immigration detention,then deported to Britain when he is granted parole.

Interpol has confirmed Hughes will be forced to tell British authorities of his contact details,travel plans and address when he returns,his lawyer Hannah Bruce told the Parole Authority.

Hughes’ wife is “sensitive” to the need to keep children away from him and has made inquiries with specialist psychologists in Britain who treat sexual offenders in denial,Bruce said.

Sarah Monaghan (centre) after the State Parole Authority hearing for convicted paedophile Robert Hughes.

Sarah Monaghan (centre) after the State Parole Authority hearing for convicted paedophile Robert Hughes.Sally Rawsthorne

“Mr Hughes has consistently been assessed at medium,below or low risk offending and always low risk in terms of sexual reoffending,” she said.

“The flow-on effect is that,while in custody,it makes him ineligible for any programs ... there are no further programs he can complete in custody that will go to reducing his risk of reoffending.”

He will remain in prison for at least another week as the State Parole Authority considers his bid for parole,his third since his non-parole period of six years ended in 2020.

Hughes appeared before the State Parole Authority on screen from Long Bay Correctional Complex wearing prison greens and glasses on Friday.

“He’s an old man and he’s frail. He’s a denier,” Sarah Monaghan,who played Hughes’ on-screen daughter and was one of his victims,said outside the Sydney West Trial Courts.

Hughes wassentenced in April 2014 to a maximum of 10 years and nine months in jail with a non-parole period of six years for 10 counts of sexual and indecent assault on girls aged between six or seven and 15 years in the 1980s and 1990s.

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Sally Rawsthorne is a Crime Reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald.

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