Lawyer ready to fight Bob Hewitt parole
Convicted rapist and sexual abuser Bob Hewitt is eligible for parole - but the lawyer representing one of his victims intends to challenge the process that might see him released from prison.
Hewitt‚ once a major name on the international professional tennis circuit‚ was convicted in March 2015 of raping two teenage tennis pupils and sexually assaulting a third in the 1980s and 1990s.
He was sentenced to six years, but was only jailed in September 2016 after his unsuccessful Constitutional Court appeal.
Although the department of correctional services has denied that Hewitt has been granted parole, they admitted that he had served the minimum required time to be considered for parole.
Department spokesman Singabakho Nxumalo said no decision had been made in regards to Hewitt, who is serving his sentence at the North End correctional centre in the Eastern Cape.
“[Correctional services] will be guided by the recommendations of the correctional supervision and parole board on either to grant or deny Mr Hewitt parole at this stage," he said.
Nxumalo said that once the decision had been made, it will be communicated to the parties involved, which includes the offender, victims of crime and their families.
Tania Koen, who is representing victim Olivia Jasriel, told TimesLIVE on Thursday afternoon that she received confirmation from Ewald Bosman, who is based at the St Albans correctional centre, that the parole board met with Hewitt on August 23 and he was granted parole.
“Bosman told me that Hewitt will be released from prison on September 23. We are going to challenge this decision because we believe due process was not followed. My client was not consulted,” she said.
On Wednesday, Jasriel told TimesLIVE that she was opposed to Hewitt being granted parole.
“It’s way too soon. He must serve the entire sentence,” she said.
Jasriel said she wished the justice system would not allow for offenders like Hewitt to be granted parole. She also pointed that the lack of psychological support for victims was a problem that needed to be looked at.
“Right now things look as if the state cares more about the offenders and less about the victims. Offenders are fed, get health services, have a roof over their head while victims are left to fend for themselves,” she said.