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Former tennis star Bob Hewitt granted bail after rape conviction

Pretoria: Australian-born former tennis Grand Slam champion Bob Hewitt was granted bail yesterday after being sentenced to six years in jail in South Africa for raping and assaulting young girls he coached in the 1980s and 1990s.

Bob Hewitt
Bob Hewitt 

Victims attending the bail hearing reacted with anger to the judge's decision to allow Hewitt to avoid prison for at least a month after his lawyers argued they needed more time to prepare his appeal.

"Six years is great, but if it is all just on paper and all words?" Twiggy Tolkien, one of his accusers who waived her right to anonymity, said, according to the News24 website.

"He's just got to start serving it." His wife Delaille, who is recovering from ovarian cancer, had pleaded for the judge not to send her husband to jail.

His lawyers were given until June 19 to prepare his appeal application.

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