South Africa 12.2.2015 12:00 pm

Hewitt case to proceed

FILE PICTURE: Former tennis player Bob Hewitt looks on from the dock of the South Gauteng High Court. Picture: Refilwe Modise

FILE PICTURE: Former tennis player Bob Hewitt looks on from the dock of the South Gauteng High Court. Picture: Refilwe Modise

Efforts to strike from the roll the case against former tennis champion Bob Hewitt failed in the High Court in Johannesburg, sitting in Palm Ridge, on Thursday.

Hewitt’s lawyer Terry Price had submitted that, among other things, the evidence of the three women who accused Hewitt of sexual assault and rape could not be accepted.

“I’ve considered the relevant issues and listened to the arguments,” said Judge Bert Bam.

“None of it comes as a surprise. As far as the application is concerned, it is without merit and is refused,” he ruled, without giving reasons.

Wearing a blue knee-length dress, Hewitt’s wife Delaille stood and left the courtroom once the ruling had been delivered.

She has remained by her husband’s side as one by one his accusers took the stand.

At the back of the courtroom, one of Hewitt’s alleged victims Suellen Sheehan broke down and cried.

She testified that Hewitt raped her in 1982 in his car before tennis practice when she was 12 years old.

Another of Hewitt’s accusers Theresa Tolken told the court Hewitt touched her inappropriately and forced her to perform oral sex on him 34 years ago when she was 12.

A third alleged victim, who may not be named, testified that Hewitt rubbed himself against her back in an inappropriate way during private tennis lessons.

The Australian-born Hewitt has pleaded not guilty to two charges of rape and one of indecent assault.

He took the stand on Thursday to give his evidence-in-chief.

 

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