Rolf Harris 'indecently assaulted girl after autograph request'

Adjust Comment Print

The jury has been told that Harris is serving jail time for indecently assaulting four female victims and that he "continues to maintain his innocence" regarding those offences.

The 86-year-old, who appeared by video link, denies seven charges of indecent assault and one of sexual assault.

Giving evidence via video link today, she said: "I was quite pleased seeing him in real life because I had seen him in the TV doing the art show and it was nice seeing someone famous".

Giving evidence about the incident which she said happened in Portsmouth in 1977 when she went with her mother to get the Australian celebrity's autograph, the woman, who described herself as "completely unworldly" at that time, said: "It just felt awful, it just felt wrong".

The court heard this trial involves accusations of "unwanted groping" by Harris, who is said to have fondled the alleged victims' breasts and private parts while other people were nearby.

In December past year, Judge Alistair McCreath ruled the entertainer, whose niece Jenny Harris and husband were in court, would not have to attend proceedings in person because of his age and health.

'She put her hand out to shake his hand but Mr Harris said that he couldn't be doing with all that.

Harris allegedly pulled her on to his lap and put his hand up her skirt.

The prosecution argues, despite Harris's assertion that he would not act in the manner described in the incidents, his previous convictions establish he has "a propensity for indecently assaulting young females".

Mr Rees said the jury might want to consider whether Mr Harris" celebrity status "made him so brazen'.

He is then said to have declined to shake the woman's hand and instead "crouched down, kissed the back of her neck and.began slobbering over her".

She said Mr Harris signed her autograph book and they left.

The teenager later told a family member Harris was a "dirty old man", when asked how her day had been, the jury heard.

In a recording of the call she made to the NSPCC in July 2014, which was played to the court, the woman said: "To be honest with you this is something that's been on my mind for absolutely years and years but I haven't had the courage to come forward".

"Not at all", she said.

After studying art in London, Harris found fame in the 1960s when he secured his own television show after landing work at the BBC.

Harris was interviewed by the police on February 3 and 4 2015 at Stafford police station.

Commenting on the girl's father, the witness said: "He looked rather angry, well red-faced, he was angry and I know the reason for that now".

She added: "I didn't know about sex, I didn't know about periods".

Comments