Harris witness spoke of 'dirty old man'

Rolf Harris. Photo Reuters
Rolf Harris. Photo Reuters
A woman who says Rolf Harris indecently assaulted her in the late 1960s when she was a child later banned her own husband and children from watching "the dirty old man" whenever he appeared on their television.

Another complainant in the entertainer's child sex abuse trial says she was groped in the mid-1970s after being drawn to a crowd that was watching Harris on all fours barking like a dog.

The two women, the second and third of Harris's accusers, gave evidence at a London court for the first time on Thursday.

The first said the Australian indecently assaulted her in the late 1960s at a community centre near Portsmouth after he'd performed the song Two Little Boys.

The then seven or eight-year-old girl had approached the star for his signature.

"He was looking at me smiling," the woman, now 52, told Southwark Crown Court.

"I was smiling, excited, and out of nowhere I felt his hand go down my back and up between my legs."

She said because he seemed such a nice man she initially thought it may have been an accident.

But then, the witness said on Thursday, the famous children's entertainer did it again.

The alleged victim said Harris's hand - which she described as "big and hairy" - instantly went "straight up between my legs quite aggressively and forcefully".

She said she felt scared and desperately wanted to get away.

Later in life, whenever Harris appeared on the TV, she had to switch it off.

After marrying her husband in the mid-1980s she explained to him, and later their children, why she wouldn't watch his shows.

"I said Rolf Harris is a dirty old man. He put his hands on my bottom and between my legs when I was a little girl."

The prosecution then read out a statement from the woman's now ex-husband.

"Because of what happened to (the alleged victim) our children were not allowed to watch Rolf Harris when they were growing up," he said in the statement.

The woman went to the police in May 2013 after reading media reports about Harris allegedly assaulting other teenage girls.

Previously, she thought no one would believe her.

Defence lawyer Sonia Woodley QC on Thursday suggested to the witness that Harris had never been to the community centre and wasn't there on the day in question.

But the 52-year-old insisted she had met Harris.

The third alleged victim also gave evidence on Thursday.

She was 13 or 14 and working as a waitress in a marquee at a celebrity event in Cambridge in the mid-1970s.

After hearing the sound of dogs barking she went outside to investigate and saw Harris crouched down on all fours.

"There was a terrier-type dog in front of him and they were both barking at each other," the witness, now 52, said on Thursday.

A crowd was watching the "funny scene" and the waitress was slightly "awestruck".

Then Harris came up and put his arm around her.

"His arm then moved up and down my back and his hand went over my bottom," the woman said.

"It (his hand) was very firm and he squeezed it a few times. It was basically like groping."

The woman said she was embarrassed and awkward and froze. Harris, however, didn't appear troubled.

The witness said no-one could see what he was doing because her back was to the marquee.

She didn't report the incident at the time because in the 1970s such matters "weren't really talked about".

The court has previously heard from the first complainant in the case, who was a childhood friend of Harris' daughter, Bindi.

She claims Harris first assaulted her when she was 13 and joined the family on an overseas holiday.

The 84-year-old is accused of indecently assaulting four girls between 1968 and 1986.

He denies all the charges.

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