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Victims angry after Bob Hewitt's bail extended

The victims say they're starting to lose faith in the justice system after Hewitt was allowed to go home.

FILE: Bob Hewitt walks into the court room. Picture : Kgothatso Mogale/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Bob Hewitt's victims said they're starting to lose faith in the justice system because the convicted rapist has been allowed to go home until his appeal is heard.

Hewitt's victims said they were expecting him to be taken to prison straight after his sentencing.

On Monday, the North Gauteng High Court sentenced Hewitt to an effective six years behind bars, but for the next month, he will be at his citrus farm in Addo in the Eastern Cape.

Hewitt's application for leave to appeal his conviction and sentence has been postponed to 19 June.

He was found guilty on two counts of rape and one of sexual assault after three women testified that he took advantage of them while he was their tennis coach in the 1980s and 1990s.

One of the victims, known as Twiggy, said she's disappointed that his bail has been extended.

"They're destroying us. They're letting us down. I'm entirely happy with six years, but is he going to serve it or is he going to carry on playing games like this?"

Another victim, Suellen Sheehan, said they cannot get closure if he's a free man.

"From one court date to the next, in between that I can't function, it's horrible. He's victimising me and he will continue to do this and it's a disgrace that he's allowed to do this."

Hewitt's legal team needed time to prepare for the appeal process as a new advocate is representing him with regards to this matter.

Judge Bam told Hewitt that no rapist can hide behind their age when it comes to justice being served.

Bam said he considered a number of factors when sentencing Hewitt but added that justice had been delayed for too long.

He went into great detail about the seriousness of rape but also took Hewitt's age and health into consideration.

"It's tragic that a once renowned and highly regarded sportsman who has represented his country across the world has to face reality and the consequences of his criminal deeds of the past."

Hewitt will spend the next six years behind bars and has been ordered to pay R100,000 to the Justice Department to fund anti-abuse campaigns.