Former Hey Dad! star Robert Hughes yesterday lost his appeal against his conviction for child sexual offences in the NSW Court of Criminal appeal.
He appealed his convictions in part because he believed he did not receive a fair trial due to “poisonous vilification” on social media. His lawyer also argued a miscarriage of justice due to the conduct of the crown prosecutor, and the refusal of the trial judge to discharge the jury as a result.
But Chief Justice Tom Bathurst and Justices Margaret Beazley and Paul Hidden found, “Changes to Australian society wrought by the digital revolution (including the rise of the internet and various forms of social media), and the consequent explosion in publicity about notable criminal trials should not diminish the commitment of the criminal justice system to trial by jury.”
They also found that the trial judge acted within reason and found no error in the way the criminal trial was conducted.
Further complaints of assaults in prison were referred to the Minister and Commissioner for Corrective Services.
Lawyers may yet appeal to the High Court of Australia.
Hughes will now continue his term of at least six years in prison.