Rolf Harris leaves Southwark Crown Court in London.
The British detective in charge of the case against Rolf
Harris has admitted there's no independent evidence the
entertainer was at two key events where girls allege they were
groped 40 years ago.
Detective Sergeant Gary Pankhurst was the last prosecution
witness to give evidence at Harris's child sex trial in
The senior investigating officer on Friday told the court "a
lot of effort" went into trying to determine if Harris was at
a community centre near Portsmouth in the late 1960s.
That's where one of four main complainants in the case
alleges she was "aggressively and forcefully" groped between
her legs when aged seven or eight years old.
The jury on Friday was told police had searched Portsmouth
newspapers published between 1968 and 1970 but "no trace was
found of the event at the Leigh Park Community Centre
described by (the alleged victim)".
A search of council records and letter drops appealing for
witnesses uncovered no definitive proof either.
Two locals did, however, give evidence last week that they
recalled Harris being in the general area around that time.
Det Sgt Pankhurst was also quizzed about another
complainant's claim that she was "firmly" groped in the
mid-1970s when, aged 13 or 14, she was working as a waitress
in a marquee in a Cambridge park.
The witness, now in her early 50s, believes the incident
occurred during an It's a Knockout celebrity event.
But defence lawyer Sonia Woodley QC on Friday insisted:
"There is no independent evidence of any kind to put Mr
Harris in Cambridge in the year of 1975."
During cross-examination Det Sgt Pankhurst agreed the BBC had
provided footage of It's a Knockout filmed in Cambridge in
1975 and there was no vision of Harris.
Prosecutor Sasha Wass QC, however, told the court there had
been plans for a fundraiser to help the Cambridge team travel
to the finals and a report from the time suggested organisers
were hoping a "big name celebrity" would attend.
The event was to take place at the same park where the
alleged victim recalls being assaulted.
Ms Wass further noted that 40 years ago the internet didn't
exist and relevant information could not simply be found on
Google like today.
Earlier on Friday, the jury was shown film footage of
Harris's principal accuser - a childhood friend of his
daughter Bindi - shot at the time she claims the entertainer
started abusing her aged 13.
The 1978 footage was seized from the Harris family home west
of London in November 2012 just days before the artist and
singer was first questioned by detectives from Operation
The main complainant says Harris first assaulted her when she
joined the family on a holiday to Canada, Hawaii and
Australia in 1978.
In the film the 13-year-old is playing with others on
inflated tubes on a river.
It also shows Bindi's friend swimming in a pool while wearing
a bikini and standing outside a house in Australia.
Giving evidence a fortnight ago the complainant said, when
she was 28, Harris told her the flesh-coloured bikini she'd
worn as a young teenager "turned him on".
Harris admits having a 10-year "affair" with his daughter's
friend but says sexual relations only began after she turned
She insists the entertainer groomed her "like a pet".
Ms Wass wrapped up on Friday afternoon by telling Justice
Nigel Sweeney: "My Lord that is the case for the
The defence opens its case on Tuesday with Harris moving from
the glass-walled dock to the witness stand.
It's believed the 84-year-old will give evidence for two or
Harris is charged with indecently assaulting four girls in
the UK between 1968 and 1986. He denies all 12 counts.
The trial continues.