Rolf Harris Sex Accusations: Jury Goes Out

Jurors in the trial of veteran entertainer and artist Rolf Harris have retired to consider their verdicts.

The 84-year-old is accused of indecently assaulting four women between 1968 and 1986, all of which he denies.

He insists the women made up their stories and jumped on a bandwagon as part of a celebrity witch hunt following the Jimmy Savile scandal.

The judge, Mr Justice Sweeney, told the jury of six men and six women to consider only the evidence they have heard in court and return a ”true verdict whatever the consequences may be”.

As well as the alleged victims, the six-week trial at Southwark Crown Court has heard from seven character witnesses who are not part of the indictment but who claim they were assaulted by Harris.

Prosecutor Sasha Wassdescribed him as a ”sinister pervert” who groomed’ women and used his fame to trap them in bear hugs so he could grope them.

She told the court he had a ”dark side” after he admitted having a relationship with the best friend of his daughter Bindi, which began with him allegedly groping her on a holiday in Hawaii when she was 13.

His defence claims sexual contact between Harris and the woman, who is the subject of seven of the 12 charges against him, began after she turned 18 and was consensual.

The other three women say they were assaulted in Portsmouth, Cambridge and London when they were all aged between seven or eight and 16 years old.

Mr Justice Sweeney took the best part of two days to sum up the evidence and warned the jury to look out for ”red herrings when you see one”.

He told them the ultimate question they must answer is: ”Has the prosecution made us sure that the defendant touched in the way that was alleged?”

Harris, from Bray in Berkshire, was accompanied in court on Thursday by his daughter Bindi and other family members. His wife Alwyn was absent.

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19 June 2014 | 12:37 pm – Source:

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