‘Hey Dad Wall’ Built to Protect Robert Hughes from Faeces and Urine Attacks

67-year-old former ‘Hey Dad’ star, Robert Hughes, was convicted in Downing Centre District Court of child sex offences in May 2014. He was sentenced to a full term of 10 years and 6 months in prison, with a ‘non parole period’ of 6 years – which means he must spend at least 6 years behind bars.

The first few days behind prison walls were a rude awakening for Hughes – dozens of inmates at greeted the star by pelting him with milk cartons filled with faeces and urine, to the point where he was covered in human waste.

In his book titled ‘Australia’s Most Murderous Prison’, author James Phelps reports a version of events given by a former prison guard:

“I would estimate 50 to 70 inmates all ran to the yard”, the guard said.

“We thought, oh shit it’s on here. Before we knew it he had shit and piss thrown on him from the time he walked into the yard to the time he walked out of the back of the yard”.

“What they do is shit and piss in the little milk containers they’re issued, and they put their arms through the bars and fling it – you would really be surprised how far”

Covered from head to toe in human waste, the guard said Hughes “sat on top of a small grassy hill in the activities yard, and he cried”.

He then cleaned himself up, before being pelted once again on the way back to his cell.

The former star is reported to have then called a friend and said:

“I can’t do it. This place is horrible. I thought it would be ok but I can’t stay here in Goulburn. This place is hell. You have to get me out”.

Despite pleas to prison authorities by his criminal defence lawyer, Hughes continued to be targeted to the point where he constantly wore a thick ski jacket, even through the summer months.

During his ‘severity appeal’ (to have his sentence reduced), Hughes’ lawyer submitted that the Court should take into account the inhumane treatment of his client behind prison walls; including being doused with boiling water.

‘Hey Dad Wall’

Unable to protect Hughes from other inmates, Goulburn prison recently erected a “special screening of thick, tight wire” to prevent other inmates from throwing waste at him.

Extra guards are also now used to walk Hughes from place to place, and there is little doubt he is having an extremely tough time behind prison walls.

Prison as punishment, not for punishment

Despite how society perceives child sexual abuse, it is important to remember that Hughes will now spend many years behind bars – indeed, he will be an old man before being eligible for release. Even then, he will probably remain a target outside prison walls.

The courts have often said that “people are sent to prison as punishment, not to be punished” – with the removal of a person’s liberty being a significant punishment in and of itself.

Despite the nature of Hughes’ convictions, “vigilante justice” both within and outside prison walls is contrary to the rule of law, and degrading treatment such as smothering others with excrement or subjecting them to physical and mental abuse is against civilised notions of punishment, and should never be permitted or condoned.

Hughes is currently seeking leave to appeal his convictions to the High Court of Australia, and one thing is for sure – he is spending “hard time” in Australia’s most secure prison facility.

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About Ugur Nedim

Ugur Nedim is an Accredited Specialist Criminal Lawyer and Principal at Sydney Criminal Lawyers®, Sydney's leading firm of criminal and traffic defence lawyers.


  1. koen

    He’s in prison for a reason, and child molesters are considered the worst and normal prisoners do not take these people lightly, just think they could of stabbed him ect but that’s what happens to people who abuse children, for the prison to build another wall just to protect him is utterly insane, he’s got what’s coming to him and no special privileges should be given to him, I hope his fellow prisoners continue to degrade him like he did to the young kids he’s hurt over the years, he’s scum that’s all I got say.

  2. Jeffrey Sill

    What Hughes did was abhorrent and he needs to be in Jail for more than 10 years, BUT did he have a lawful trial. every Barrister knows or should Know that All State Courts are with out power. Administrative Courts can not hear a criminal case. Common Law was removed in 1973 when Whitlem signed the “Treaty of Rome” In fact it’s “The Treaty of the Vatican” Contract Law the law of the Holly see. If a trial Court has a Jury, and it is missing a lawfully sworn Judicial Officers this includes Judges prosecutors and the detence legal team.then is it a Lawful trial? I think not.Missing apart from unlawfully Assented Legislation This puts a defendent in a posission that he has gone to jail without having the oppertunity being heard in a legallj Constituted Court.Page 614 line 15 of the Annotated Constituteion of the Australian Commonwealth, The Judicial Oath is missing So help me God and the Afermation is missing Her Royal Higness. .

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