PE's Bob Hewitt found guilty of rape and sexual assault

MARCH 23, 2015

Former Grand Slam tennis champion, Bob Hewitt, who was now based in Port Elizabeth, was on Monday found guilty of two counts of rape and one of sexual assault by the High Court sitting in Palm Ridge, east of Johannesburg.

Hewitt, 75, is accused of the rape of two of his former students, Theresa "Twiggy" Tolken and Sheehan in the 1980s,  and the sexual assault of a third woman, who may not be named, in the 1990s. He gave tennis lessons to the girls and pleaded not guilty.

"The State's evidence against the accused is overwhelming," Judge Bert Bam said.

"The three complainants have basic rights. Time did not erase the crimes. A guilty person should not go unpunished. The scales of justice tip against the accused."

Right before judgement, the defence had argued that the testimony of one of the victims - Suellen Sheehan, differed from the information she gave to various media publications in the past.

Bob Hewitt's attorney, Terry Price, asked that Sheehan be cross examined again, as her credibility is in question. Price says Sheehan's evidence is contradictory.

He made reference to a recent media publication where she's quoted as saying that she was bashed and raped when she was 12.

Judge Bert Bam denied the defence a second opportunity to cross examine Sheehan, saying it would not be in the interest of justice.

During the trial, Tolken testified that Hewitt touched her inappropriately and forced her to perform oral sex on him 34 years ago when she was 12. They were driving to Sun City at the time.

A third woman, who cannot be named, claimed Hewitt had rubbed up against her while coaching her in the 1990s. 

Another of Hewitt's students testified in his defence. The woman, who may not be named, said Hewitt was a strict coach but was never inappropriate. Hewitt coached her and Sheehan in the 1980s.

Hewitt's wife Delaille has testified that she did not believe her husband committed the crimes.

-Additional reporting, SAPA and SABC.

Image: DailyMail UK.