Entertainer Rolf Harris leaves Southwark Crown Court in
London. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett
Australian entertainer Rolf Harris has pleaded not guilty
to 12 sex offences dating back to the 1960s.
Harris - dressed in a blue suit, white shirt and red tie -
appeared in London's Southwark Crown Court for a plea and
case management hearing ahead of his trial scheduled for
The 83-year-old, appearing relaxed and much healthier than
his last court appearance in September, answered with a load
and clear "not guilty" as each of the indecent assault
charges were read to him in the packed courtroom.
Harris also remains charged with making four indecent images
of a child in 2012. He is yet to be arraigned on those
Harris was accompanied to the court in central London by a
group of around a dozen friends and family including his
elderly wife Alwen, whom he pushed in a wheelchair, and his
middle-aged daughter Bindi.
He sat still and appeared relaxed in the dock during the
hearing, which lasted more than an hour, speaking only
briefly to confirm his name and enter his pleas.
The court heard Harris is accused of 12 separate counts of
sexual assault, involving four alleged victims.
He was last year charged with six counts of indecently
assaulting a 15-year-old girl in 1980 and 1981 and three
charges of indecently assaulting a girl aged 14 in 1986.
Last month he was charged with a further three offences; one
against a 19-year-old in 1984, one against a girl "aged seven
or eight in 1968 or 1969" and another against a 14-year-old
The count relating to the 19-year-old involved the same
alleged victim as six of the earlier counts.
Harris was also previously charged with four counts of making
indecent images of a child in the first half of 2012.
Today was Harris' first appearance in court since a hearing
at Westminster Magistrates' Court in September, when he
looked frail and confused.
He is expected to attend at least two more hearings before
his trial is scheduled to begin.
Justice Nigel Sweeney renewed Harris' bail conditions, which
dictate that he does not contact prosecution witness and
lives at his home address in Bray.
Harris made no comment to reporters after the hearing as he
walked past a huge media scrum held behind barricades at the
front of the court.
Harris was questioned under caution in November 2012 by
officers working on Operation Yewtree, the national
investigation launched after abuse claims were made against
He was then arrested in March, and charged in August. The
allegations against Harris have no connection to Savile.
Harris has not commented on the allegations since he was
first named in the press in April.
Harris, who painted a portrait of the Queen in 2005 and
performed at her Diamond Jubilee concert last year, has been
in the public eye for decades.
He had his first musical hit Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport in
1960, and continued to enjoy success in the industry as well
as forging a television career.