High Court dismisses appeal by Hey Dad! star Robert Hughes for child sex offences

The High Court has dismissed the latest appeal by former Hey Dad! star Robert Hughes who was convicted of child sex offences in 2014.

In a majority decision,the High Court on Wednesday dismissed his appeal against a decision by the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal relating to tendency evidence.

Robert Hughes lost his appeal against child sex convictions.

Robert Hughes lost his appeal against child sex convictions.Janie Barrett

Hughes was jailed for at least six years in 2014 after a jury found him guilty of 10 charges relating to sexual and indecent acts perpetrated on four young girls in the 1980s and 1990s.

Judge Peter Zahra at the time described the once-popular sitcom actor as a sexual predator who systematically exploited young girls and then relied on his position to ensure the compliance and silence of his victims.

At his District Court trial,the judge allowed the prosecution to adduce evidence from each of the complainants and from other women as"tendency evidence".

The prosecution said the evidence showed Hughes had a tendency of"having a sexual interest in female children under the age of 16"and of using his relationships to obtain access to girls in order to engage in sexual activities with them.

The NSW Court of Criminal Appeal dismissed his convictions challenge,rejecting a claim that the tendency evidence did not possess"significant probative value".

The High Court has now agreed.

"When considered together the tendency evidence showed the appellant's tendency to engage opportunistically in sexual activity with female children despite a high risk of detection,"the court said.

"That evidence was capable of removing doubts about the appellant's conduct and so was significantly probative as to whether the charged offences occurred."


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