Harris to plead not guilty to sex assault charges

Rolf Harris has appeared in court to answer charges of alleged assault against two teenagers.

Harris to plead not guilty to sex  assault charges

The 83-year-old’s lawyer indicated he will plead not guilty to nine counts of indecent assault and four of making indecent images of a child.

Harris was accompanied to Westminster Magistrates’ Court by wife Alwen.

Wearing a dark pinstriped suit and patterned tie at the brief hearing, he spoke only to confirm his name, his address in Bray, Berkshire, and his date of birth.

The case will next be heard at Southwark Crown Court on Monday, Oct 7.

Harris walked slowly from the court building with his wife, who was using a walking stick, as police pushed back a tightly packed crowd of photographers and cameramen.

The couple struggled for room to get into their waiting silver Chrysler as they left.

The Australian artist, musician, and television presenter is accused of assaulting two alleged victims, who were aged 14 and 15 at the time, between 1980 and 1986.

Sonia Woodley, representing Harris, told the court his indicated pleas would be not guilty.

Deputy chief magistrate Emma Arbuthnot said: “Clearly my powers are insufficient in this case and this matter will be going to the Crown Court.”

Harris was released on bail on the conditions that he does not contact prosecution witnesses, lives at his home address in Bray, and does not spend time with anyone under the age of 18 without being accompanied by someone over 21.

The 83-year-old was arrested by officers working on Operation Yewtree, the national investigation launched after abuse claims were made against Jimmy Savile, but the allegations against him have no connection to Savile.

More in this section

IE_logo_newsletters

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox