Lawyers of 'Hey Dad' star lash out

LAWYERS following the explosive sexual abuse case against former "Hey Dad" star Robert Hughes have lashed out at his alleged victims for encouraging a "trial by media".

Hughes, 63, was arrested in his London home on Thursday following a two-year investigation into the alleged assault of five Australian girls including former child co-stars.

When news of the arrest broke, one of the alleged victims who told her story to the media in 2010, posted a comment on her Twitter account which read "crying with happiness right now".

In the hours that followed a number of high profile media commentators, including radio shock jock Derryn Hinch, showed their support for the alleged victims.

On Friday, the Australian Lawyers Alliance warned against dangerous commentary which could impact Hughes' chances of getting a fair trial.

ALA National President Tony Kerin stressed it was "extremely important" Hughes was granted to the fundamental right to a presumption of innocence and said trial by media had "no place in facilitating justice".

During the long standing investigation detectives from Strike Force Ruskin travelled around the world to interview more than 100 potential witnesses including celebrities and those who had worked behind the scenes on the popular television show.

By May this year NSW Police were satisfied there was enough evidence to issue a warrant for Hughes' arrest.

On Thursday he was taken to a London police station and charged with 11 child-sex related offences.

Police will allege that between 1985 and 1990, he sexually assaulted five girls in northern Sydney.

Investigating officers are expected to apply for his extradition back to NSW next week.

NSW Sex Crimes Squad, Detective Superintendent John Kerlatec described the investigation as "exhaustive" said he was confident there was enough evidence to bring Hughes before an Australian court.

He also urged any other victims to come forward.

"Sexual assault and indecent assault leaves enormous scars on people and whilst we talk about a time frame of 20-25 years (ago), to them it happened yesterday," Det Supt Kerlatec said.

"They relive it every day and some don't cope very well".

If convicted, Hughes could spend up to 20 years in jail.



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