Rolf Harris trial: Ex-TV star cleared of sex assault charges

Rolf Harris

Former TV star Rolf Harris has been cleared of three sex assault charges.

The jury at Southwark Crown Court failed to return a verdict on four other counts.

Harris, who found success with novelty pop hits and on children’s TV, made no reaction when the not guilty verdicts were read out.

The 86-year-old is currently in jail after a 2014 trial saw him convicted of 12 sex offences against four females, including a girl under 10.

After deliberating for just under a week, the jury found Harris not guilty of indecently assaulting a young autograph hunter on a visit to a Portsmouth radio station with her mother at the end of the 1970s.

He was also cleared of groping a blind, disabled woman at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London in 1977, and sexually assaulting a woman in her 40s after filming a TV show in 2004.

Harris ‘grateful’

Judge Alistair McCreath discharged the jury from deliberating on the further four counts he was accused of.

These other alleged offences included Harris putting his hand up a teenage girl’s skirt at a youth music event at London’s Lyceum Theatre.

Another teenager accused him of grabbing her breast and sliding his hand between her legs while she helped on the TV programme Star Games in the summer of 1978.

A 13-year-old girl claimed Harris asked her: “Do you often get molested on a Saturday morning?” as he allegedly felt underneath her top after a children’s TV show in 1983.

He was also accused of stroking a 19-year-old’s bare back at a music studio near London Bridge in 2002, while allegedly making a sexual comment.

Stephen Vullo QC, defending, had told jurors Harris was innocent of these latest charges, as well as the indecent assaults over which he was convicted in 2014.

He blamed a “media frenzy” for making Harris “vulnerable to people making accusations against him”.

The prosecution team asked for a week to decide whether to apply for a retrial. Harris has been remanded in custody until then.

His defence team said Harris was expected to be automatically released from prison for the sentence he is currently serving this summer.

Outside court, his solicitor, Daniel Berke, said: “Mr Harris is grateful for the care and attention this jury has given to his case and for the not guilty verdicts returned.”

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