Entertainer Rolf Harris has been accused of abusing a girl
for her entire teenage and young-adult life. REUTERS/Andrew
Australian entertainer Rolf Harris sexually assaulted a
15-year-old girl in her bedroom before going downstairs to
laugh and joke with her parents, a London court was told today.
Harris abused the girl for her entire teenage and young-adult
life, first assaulting her at the age of 13 as she got out of
the shower, prosecutor Sasha Wass told the jury. He also took
photos of her as she slept and molested her within yards of
other sleeping children, she added.
A global star of family TV entertainment for more than 50
years, Harris is the biggest name to go on trial since
British police launched a major investigation after
revelations that the late BBC TV host Jimmy Savile was a
prolific child sex abuser, leading to the arrest of more than
a dozen ageing celebrities.
The 84-year-old is charged with 12 counts of indecent assault
against four girls between 1968 and 1986, the youngest of
whom was aged just seven or eight at the time of the alleged
Harris denies the charges.
Giving evidence behind a screen, the woman, now aged 49, said
she was too scared and intimidated by Harris's fame to tell
anyone about the abuse and he routinely sexually assaulted
until she was 28 years old.
"I was just so scared of him, He was this big man on the
telly and I thought no one would believe me anyway," she
said. "He was this huge character and I thought I wouldn't
stand a chance.
"I felt disgusted in myself for letting him do it."
Wearing a dark suit, pink shirt and brightly coloured striped
tie, Harris sat expressionless in dock at Southwark Crown
Court as the woman described over 10 different occasions
when, she said, he had assaulted her.
Talking about the incident in her bedroom when she was 15,
she said: "He reached my bedroom and I was by the door. He
gave me another one of his big hugs and tickles and my heart
She said Harris then put his hand down her trousers.
"When he got downstairs, he just started laughing and joking
with everybody," she added.
The woman said she finally decided to go to the police in
2012 after seeing Harris take part in the Queen's Diamond
"The TV was on and Rolf was on the box, and I just thought:
'Cant I get away from this bloody man?'
"He's been on the telly quite a lot recently and it's like he
invades my home," she said.
"That's when I decided I wasn't going to have any more of
it," she added.
The court has previously heard that the entertainer, known to
millions in Britain and Australia for his work as a TV
presenter and a string of pop-music hits, was a Jekyll and
Hyde figure who gained the trust of children before abusing
After being confronted by a letter from his alleged victim's
father, Harris replied with a confession in which he accepted
that he had had a sexual relationship with the woman but did
not say it had occurred while she was under-age.
"When I see the misery I have caused ... I am sickened by
myself," the jury heard he wrote in the letter.
"We can't go back and change things we have done in this
life. I wish to God I could."
The trial continues.