The child actress who was sexually abused by her on-screen father believes he will never apologize for his horrific actions as she prepares to move on with her life.
Embarrassed Hey Daddy! actor and convicted child sex offender Robert Hughes will be released on parole in two weeks following a decision by the NSW State Parole Authority.
The actor who played Martin Kelly in the Australian comedy sitcom has spent the past eight years behind bars after a jury found him guilty on ten charges of sexual and indecent acts with four young girls between the ages of seven and fifteen in the 1980s and 1990s. .
The news is bittersweet for victim Sarah Monahan, who played Hughes’ youngest daughter Jenny on the hit show. She recently traveled from the US to attend his recent parole hearing.
Although she is emotional and upset about Hughes’ release, she is also relieved.
Hughes was jailed after a jury found him guilty on 10 charges of sexual and indecent acts committed against four young girls between the ages of seven and 15 in the 1980s and 1990s.
“He will never say sorry and I’m fine with that. He will never say it. I’m not going to beg for it; I’m not going to ask for it,” she said A current matter†
“There’s just so much gone, so long and I think it’s now… it’s just… it’s over.”
Monahan now just wants to erase Hughes from her life.
“This has taken up my whole life for the past 12 years, 14 years, so I think I need to find a new me now,” she said.
“I don’t want to be a victim anymore.”
Hughes, 73, was sentenced in 2014 to a prison term of up to 10 years and nine months, which ends in January 2025.
“The parole is being granted. The perpetrator must be released by June 14, 2022 at the latest,” the probation authority said on Thursday.
However, the authority noted in its 13-page judgment that the “profound and damaging effects on the victims … continue to this day and are likely to have lifelong consequences.”
Victim Sarah Monahan who played Hughes’ youngest daughter Jenny on the hit show and recently traveled from the US to attend his recent hearing
Embarrassed Hey Daddy! actor and convicted sex offender Robert Hughes is released on parole after multiple failed attempts
“It must be particularly painful for the victims to observe the perpetrator’s persistent and persistent denials in the face of compelling and overwhelming evidence from multiple witnesses,” Judge Frearson said in his determination.
The probation authority noted that Hughes continued to “categorically deny” all of his crimes, but still rated him as being at medium to low risk of recidivism.
‘He shows no insight and blames the victims. It is said that poor victim empathy does not increase their risk of sexual recidivism,” the report said.
The other main reasons for release were reportedly Hughes’ unfitness for sex offender programs, along with his family’s support and housing in the UK.
“With deportation there will be a decent level of governance and accountability. The perpetrator and his wife appear to be committed to appropriate psychological intervention,” the probation authority said.
‘A reasonable prospect of appropriate intervention is more conducive to the safety of society than the certainty of complete lack of intervention.
“It is inevitable that at some point the perpetrator will be released into the community.”
Hughes will live in the United Kingdom with his wife Robyn Gardiner. Ms Gardiner told the probation agency that she will keep him away from children if he is unsupervised.
Hughes played Martin Kelly (second from left) in the TV comedy Hey Dad! from 1987-1994
“The perpetrator’s wife expressed her intention to continue to provide emotional support after his release,” the authority wrote in its decision.
In addition, she has advised that she has arranged accommodation for the perpetrator to live with her after his eventual return to London.
“While she believes in his innocence, she expressed her intention to ensure that the perpetrator does not have uncontrolled contact with children.
“She has expressed her intention to encourage him to undergo psychological counseling.”
The authority noted that the arguments against Hughes’ parole include “continuing to deny the violations; his wife’s support in his denial; the fact that he is untreated; he will not be supervised; his denials will not be challenged, and his sex crimes will not be addressed.”
Hughes’ former daughter and on-screen victim, Ms Monahan, attended the Parramatta hearing last week and said she wanted the sex offender to know she was present.
“He’s an old man and he’s weak, but they don’t change, and he’s a denier, he still thinks he hasn’t done anything,” she told reporters last week.
She said Hughes looked “very, very old” at the hearing and encouraged other victims of sexual abuse to confront their rapists in court.
“Anyone who goes through it and is afraid to go to court and see them absolutely does it because it takes away all their power,” she said.
“I wanted him to see me… and not be afraid anymore.
“On the one hand I’d rather he stay in jail where he doesn’t hurt kids and on the other hand it’s like, just let him go, let him be someone else’s problem and then I don’t have to more to deal with .’
His former on-screen daughter and victim Sarah Monahan (pictured) attended the Parramatta hearing last week and said she wanted the sex offender to know she was attending
Although the allegations against Hughes were leveled in the 1990s, it took a paid television interview by Ms Monahan in 2010 to launch a wide-ranging police investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct by the actor.
His victims included a family friend, friends of his daughter and Mrs. Monahan.
Hughes made his third parole attempt after two failed attempts. His minimum sentence of six years made him eligible for parole on April 6, 2020.
Judge Peter Zahra, who died suddenly last month, pronounced the sentence with strong conviction against Hughes.
‘He committed brutal predatory behavior; he planned and orchestrated the occasions on which the behavior occurred. His behavior was persistent and calculated,” he said.
He will be deported to the UK where he will live with his wife Robyn Gardiner (pictured together)
‘He abused his position of trust and exploited the naivety and youthfulness of the children.
‘The profound and damaging effects on the victims over many years, if not their entire lives. The victims here remain deeply troubled by the perpetrator’s behaviour.’
Hughes’ legal aid attorney Hannah Bruce told the probation authority that he should be released because he was rated “either medium, below risk or low risk of reoffending.”
“While in custody, he is ineligible for programs, but he is not eligible for sex offender programs…there are no further programs he can complete while in custody that would reduce his risk of reoffending.” ‘ she said during the hearing.
“It’s not a situation where he will be completely out of control when released to the community.
‘He is a gentleman towards the end of his years. His focus on release is to maintain a very low profile.”
Hughes’ victims were a family friend, friends of his daughter, and Mrs. Monahan, a child actress who starred with him in Hey Dad!
Hughes said he would begin therapy with noted psychologist Rachel Pike once he arrived in the UK.
He must also report to the police within three days of his return to the UK, and then once a year and within three days of changing his details.
He must provide passport and bank details and must notify the police of any intention to leave the UK.
Hughes must also provide details of where he lives and where he regularly resides if this is different from his home address.
“It is mandatory to inform the police if he is going to stay (for a minimum period of 12 hours) in a household where a child is present,” the probation authority noted.
He will be sent back to prison for up to six months if he does not meet these conditions.
Hughes will be transferred from the Long Bay Correctional Center to the Villawood Detention Center prior to his deportation.