Monday, 7 July 2014

Rolf Harris

Disgraced Aussie family entertainer, Rolf Harris, was jailed for five years and nine months for twelve counts of indecently assaulting young women and girls. 

 One woman said she was aged seven or eight when she queued to get an autograph from Harris at a community centre in Hampshire in 1968 or 1969. When she reached the front of the queue, Harris had touched her inappropriately with his "big hairy hands", she told the jury. 

 She said she had initially thought it might have been an accident but then he touched her again. "It felt very aggressive, and I knew that it wasn't an accident." She went on to describe how "he scared me because he was looking at me all the time". 

 Seven of the 12 charges related to a childhood friend of Harris's daughter Bindi. Six charges related to alleged abuse when she was aged between 13 and 15, and the seventh to when she was 19. The court heard that the abuse began when she had been on holiday with the Harris family at the age of 13.

Later, the woman said Harris had performed a sex act on her at the Harris family home, with Bindi asleep in the same room.  Further assaults took place at the Harris home and in her bedroom at her own home while her parents were downstairs.

  Harris faces the possible loss of much of his estimated £11m fortune. He will face a claim for significant prosecution costs and several of his victims have begun claims for compensation. 

 As well as the civil compensation suits, Harris faces being stripped of his various honours, including a CBE, professional fellowships and honorary degrees. His home town of Bassendean in Western Australia is to remove a plaque in his honour and his former school has taken down his artwork.