Bob Hewitt to be sentenced today

APRIL 17, 2015

Bob Hewitt, who was convicted for rape, is expected to be sentenced in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Friday. 

The Australian-born, 75-year-old former Grand Slam tennis champion, who resides in Port Elizabeth, was found guilty of raping two girls he gave tennis lessons to in the 1980's and of sexually assaulting another.

Hewitt had pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. 

After a trial lasting several weeks in the North Gauteng High Court sitting in Palm Ridge, Judge Bert Bam found him guilty of all three counts. 

The sentencing however, was transferred to Pretoria because Bam's term had ended at the Palm Ridge court. 

In his judgment Bam said Hewitt "manipulated the girls to get them under his spell, and after having 'groomed' them, and after they had fallen in love with him, the accused proceeded to have intercourse with them without needing their express consent".

They were intimidated by Hewitt and submitted to him, Bam said.

"The accused abused the children's trust in him."

Bam said it was unfortunate that crimes of such a nature only came to light many years after they were committed.

Hewitt’s lawyer, Terry Price, will present evidence in mitigation of sentencing. He has already implored the court to consider his client’s advanced age.

“We’re dealing with a man who is 75-years-old,” Price reminded Judge Bam after he convicted Hewitt.

- additional reporting News24.