GUARDED by a ring of police officers and security guards Hey Dad! star Robert Hughes has boarded a flight to Australia where he is wanted on multiple sex assault allegations against children.
Hughes, 64, boarded Qantas flight QF2 at London’s Heathrow Airport bound for Sydney via Singapore just after 7.30pm on Tuesday (0630 Wednesday AEDT).
The former prime-time TV star did not speak with waiting media as he boarded the flight some two hours before its scheduled departure.
The flight is due to land in Sydney at 6.50am (AEDT) on Thursday.
“(Scotland Yard) can confirm that Robert Hughes … was extradited to Australia from London Heathrow on an extradition warrant this evening, December 11,” a police spokeswoman told AAP.
“He is wanted in connection with allegations of gross indecency, indecent assault and sexual assault towards children in NSW, Australia, between August 1984 and August 1990.”
Hughes consented to an order sought by Australia’s attorney-general that he return to Sydney for questioning in relation to claims made by five people.
He has not been charged and his lawyer has indicated he intends to defend the allegations.
A warrant, signed by Britain’s home secretary, outlines 11 accusations made by people who were aged seven to 15 years at the time of the alleged abuse, which coincided with the actor’s starring role in the hit family sitcom, Hey Dad!.
Alleged victims include the daughter of family friends and pals of Hughes’ daughter, a London court was told during extradition proceedings.
Claims against Hughes were first made public in 2010.
He was living in London with his wife when arrested in August 2012 by police seeking his extradition.
Hughes has been on bail since his arrest.