Robert Hughes (actor)

Victims Unknown
Born
Robert Lindsay Hughes
(1948-08-19) 19 August 1948 (age 73)
Died Unknown
Known for Hey Dad..!, ABBA: The Movie
Criminal penalty 10 years 9 months' imprisonment (minimum 6 years non-parole)

Introduction

Robert Lindsay Hughes (born 19 August 1948 in Sydney, New South Wales) also billed variously as Bob Hughes and Robert Hughs, is an Australian former actor, voice actor, and musician, whose most significant roles include ABBA: The Movie and the television sitcom Hey Dad..!. In May 2014, he was convicted of sexual offences against children and sentenced to ten years, nine months' imprisonment with a minimum non-parole period of six years.


Early career

Hughes first worked as a cadet journalist for The Sydney Morning Herald.

Hughes was briefly the bass player for the pop/country rock band the Flying Circus in 1967–68, billed as Bob Hughes, before they had hits with the songs "Hayride" and "La La".


Acting

Hughes has acted extensively in Australian theatre, film and television. He was a Sydney Theatre Company company artist from 1981. His theatre roles have included The War Horse and Great Big Adventure Book for Boys. His television roles include Chopper Squad, Cop Shop, The Sullivans, Skyways, Tickled Pink, The Paul Hogan Show, Dick Emery in Australia, Love Thy Neighbour in Australia, Daily at Dawn, The Timeless Land, Kingswood Country, The Flying Doctors, Halifax fp, A Country Practice, Learned Friends, Prisoner and The New Adventures of Blinky Bill. His film roles include Cathy's Child, Fatty Finn, ABBA: The Movie and Squizzy Taylor. Following this he played the lead role in Hey Dad..! from 1987 until leaving the series in 1993.

Despite having been the lead star for twelve of the show's fourteen seasons, Hughes did not participate in two Hey Dad..! cast reunions: on the television series Where Are They Now? in 2006, or a radio reunion on Brisbane station B105 FM in 2009. His absences were later revealed to have arisen from his unpopularity on the set of the show, leading to animosity between him and the other actors to the point that most of them refused to partake in the latter reunion if he was involved.


Allegations of sexual misconduct

In March 2010, Sarah Monahan alleged that Hughes, who then was living in Singapore, had engaged in inappropriate sexual behaviour on the set of the Hey Dad..! show. Fellow cast members Ben Oxenbould and Simone Buchanan spoke in support of her allegations. On 29 March, police announced the creation of a strike force to investigate Monahan's claims. Monahan said she spent more than 35 hours testifying to police. In September 2010, six months after the allegations were published, it was reported that more than 100 people had been interviewed. Police had not yet spoken to Hughes and were weighing up whether a formal interview would take place.

In an interview broadcast on Channel Nine's A Current Affair on 14 March 2011, a niece of Hughes stated that she had also been molested by him. Hughes' daughter rejected the allegations and questioned why these accusations had not been raised earlier.

A mother of a victim later said: "We first went to [New South Wales] police about Hughes in 1988 when my daughter was nine years old" and says she was told by the investigating detective "I've tried to get this guy but every time I do someone covers for him." NSW Police had interviewed Hughes about claims of sexual abuse as early as 1985.


Arrest and conviction

Hughes was arrested in London in August 2012 and the New South Wales government sought his extradition to Australia. He was granted bail and a hearing was held on 19 September 2012. At that hearing, Hughes indicated that he intended to return to Australia for questioning. After being extradited to Australia, Hughes was charged with 11 counts of child sexual abuse and released on bail.

His trial started on 10 February 2014, at Downing Centre District Court where he pleaded not guilty to eleven charges. In April 2014, the jury found Hughes guilty of two counts of sexual assault, seven counts of indecent assault and one count of committing an indecent act. A final charge, relating to an indecent act with a child under the age of sixteen, resulted in a hung jury. No outcome was recorded in relation to this charge.

On 16 May 2014, Hughes was sentenced to 10 years and 9 months' imprisonment with a minimum non-parole period of 6 years. His earliest date of eligibility for release was in April 2020 when he was aged 71. After sentencing, Hughes was sent to Goulburn Correctional Centre, where his fellow inmates doused him in human excreta (urine/feces) upon his arrival, despite his being in protective custody. Prison officials constructed a wall of wire screening to deflect further attacks upon Hughes's person.

Hughes appealed to the Court of Criminal Appeal, but his appeal was rejected on 21 December 2015. The court did, however, mandate that Hughes's allegations of physical abuse in prison be referred to the Minister for Justice and the Commissioner for Corrective Services. On 18 January 2016, Hughes lodged an appeal with the High Court of Australia. Hughes has since lost his High Court challenge to child sex convictions.

Hughes requested an international prisoner transfer to the UK, due to having dual British-Australian citizenship. However he later withdrew this application and instead renounced his Australian citizenship, allowing for him to be deported to the United Kingdom once paroled or his sentence completed. As a result, the New South Wales State Parole Authority refused him parole in March 2020 as he would be deported and not under supervision, thus presenting an 'unacceptable risk to community safety'.


Filmography

Films

Title Year Role
Armchair Theatre (TV series) 1975 Episode: Tully Lookout
The Dick Emery Show in Australia (TV series) 1977 Various Characters
Ripkin (TV movie) 1978 unknown
Tickled Pink (TV series) 1978 Jethro
Chopper Squad (TV series) 1978 The Photographer
Love Thy Neighbour in Australia 1979 Bernard Smith
The Timeless Land (TV Miniseries) 1980 Capt. Kemp
Cathy's Child 1979 Mike (billed as Bob Hughes)
Home Sweet Home (TV series) 1980 Policeman
Fatty Finn Percy 1980 Percy
ABBA: The Movie 1980 Ashley Walace
Winter of Our Dreams 1981 Martin Harris
Cop Shop (TV series) 1981 2 roles- Bob Harvey/James Best
Daily at Dawn 1981 Gil James
...Deadline... (TV movie) 1982 Fletcher
Squizzy Taylor (film) 1982 Reg Harvey
Kingswood Country (TV series) 1980=1982 2 guest roles - Solicitor/Hamish McDingle
City West (TV series) 1984 unknown
The Great Gold Swindle (TV movie) 1984 Brian Mickelberg
Sweet and Sour (TV series) 1984 College Supervisor
Prisoner (TV series) 1985 Ram/Voice of TV newscaster
Return to Eden 1986 Search co-ordinator
Flight into Hell (TV series) 1987 unkniown
G.P. (TV series) 1990 Alam Dean
Hampton Court 1991 Martin Kelly
A Country Practice (TV series) 1983-1992 Adrian/Andrew Baxter/Colin Warner
Hey Dad..! (TV series) 1987-1994 Martin Kelly
The Ferals (TV series) 1994 White Ant
Halifax f.p. 1994 Billed here as Robert Hughs
Race the Sun 1996 Judd Potter
State Coroner (TV series) 1997 Dr. Nelson Grey
All Saints 1998 Alan Fitzer
First Daughter 1999 Dan
Tales of the South Seas (TV miniseries)) 2000 Paul Cabot
Nowhere to Land 2000 AFP Bill Ryan

Albums

List of albums
Title Album details
Martin Vs Betty - The Best of "Hey Dad..!"
(with Julie McGregor)
  • Released: 1991
  • Format: CD, Cassette
  • Label: 7 Records (HDR 1991)

Sources