Robert Hughes guilty of indecent assault
Disgraced former Hey Dad! actor Robert Hughes has been found guilty of exposing himself to a young woman on the set of the show.PT0M35S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-36afh 620 349 April 8, 2014
The lawyer representing former Hey Dad! star Robert Hughes says the veteran actor is almost certain to appeal against his 10 child sex convictions, claiming that his trial was prejudiced by the media which "vilified" his client and had paid witnesses for interviews.
Solicitor Greg Walsh made the comments on Tuesday as the trial finally concluded with the jury finding the 65-year-old guilty of a 10th charge relating to an act of indecency on the set of Hey Dad!
Sentencing next: Robert Hughes with his partner Robyn Gardiner, right, and daughter Jessica Hughes during the trial. Photo: Anthony Johnson
In stark contrast to his dramatic outburst after hearing the nine guilty verdicts on Monday, Hughes showed little emotion as the jury found that he had exposed his penis to a young woman who worked with him on the show in 1991.
Having just spent his first night in Silverwater prison, Hughes looked somewhat dishevelled as he entered the dock.
The jury was unable to reach a verdict on the final charge on the indictment, relating to an allegedly indecent act committed against a 15-year-old girl.
Robert Hughes (left) with his lawyer Greg Walsh outside court. Photo: Janie Barrett
Judge Peter Zhara thanked the jurors for their efforts and formally discharged them.
Speaking outside the Downing Centre District Court, Mr Walsh said he anticipated that Hughes would "certainly appeal his verdict", claiming his trial had been prejudiced by the media.
"Throughout this case Mr Hughes and his family have been subjected, really, to four years of vilification," Mr Walsh said. "That builds up an enormous prejudice.
"In my view, having regard to the enormous extent and prejudicial nature of the publicity, it was virtually impossible to get a fair trial."
A few weeks into the trial Judge Zhara referred an article published on the website Mamamia to the NSW Attorney-General for possible contempt charges.
The opinion-style article, which was quickly removed from the website, clearly implied Hughes was guilty despite the fact that the jury was far from reaching its verdict.
Mr Walsh also told reporters that a number of the witnesses in the case had been paid "very large sums of money by members of your own media organisations for various versions of events".
"People can say all sorts of things for money and that's very unsettling," he said.
He said Hughes was "a broken man" whom he hoped would make it with the continuing support of his partner Robyn Gardiner and his daughter Jessica Hughes.
"They love each other very much,'' Mr Walsh said.
''I sincerely hope that that bond can get him across the line. He's in a very difficult position at this time - he's a broken man.''
Earlier, Judge Zhara refused an application from Mr Walsh to discharge the jury before it had reached its verdict on the penultimate charge on the basis of prejudicial media coverage.
However, the judge noted much of the media coverage appeared to have been more about ''entertainment than factual reporting''.
Hughes will return to court for sentencing on May 2.