Rolf Harris sex assault trial jury considers verdicts

Rolf Harris sex assault trial jury considers verdicts

A jury has retired to consider its verdicts in the case of former TV entertainer Rolf Harris.

The Australian denies six counts of indecent assault and one count of sexual assault, allegedly spanning four decades.

The prosecution has argued it was in Harris's nature to grope women, including young girls, in public places, saying he had been good at getting away with it for years.

Harris's defence claimed he was innocent of not only these latest charges but also the 12 counts of indecent assault he was convicted of in 2014.

The jury in the first trial "got it wrong", his lawyer Stephen Vullo QC told Southwark Crown Court.

On the first count, Harris is alleged to have put his hand up the skirt of a 14-year-old girl at a youth music event in London's Lyceum Theatre as she went to get an autograph in 1971.

In the latter part of the 1970s, he is alleged to have put his hand up the skirt of a young girl as she approached him for an autograph outside a local radio station in Portsmouth.

During a visit to Moorfields Eye Hospital in London in 1977 Harris is accused of having groped a blind, disabled woman, kissing her neck and "slobbering over her".

The fourth alleged victim was a teenager helping on the TV programme Star Games in summer 1978.

She told the court Harris had grabbed her breast, and later slid his hand up between her legs until he made contact with her crotch over her jeans.

A fifth count sees Harris accused of asking a 13-year-old girl "Do you often get molested on a Saturday morning?" as he allegedly slid his hand under her clothed breast after she attended a broadcast of children's television show Saturday Superstore at BBC Television Centre in White City, west London, in 1983.

The sixth charge is that Harris made a sexual comment while stroking the bare skin of the the 19-year-old complainant's lower back during an incident at a music studio near London Bridge in 2002.

The most recent allegation relates to a woman, then aged in her forties, who said Harris thrust his crotch at her and grabbed her breasts in a "quick, opportunist grope" after the filming of a television show in 2004.

Harris did not give evidence during the three-week trial, with his defence team claiming he would not have had much to say other than that he could not remember any of the incidents taking place, and reiterating his denial.

The 86-year-old followed the first part of the trial via video-link from Stafford Prison, where he is serving a sentence for offences against four female victims.

He was brought to court as the defence case neared its end, on the orders of Judge Alistair McCreath, who said it was important he attended for the close of the trial.


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