Rolf Harris is a sinister pervert who left his daughter's
childhood friend an "emotionally dead creature" following years
of sexual abuse, a London court has been told.
Prosecutor Sasha Wass QC launched a scathing critique of the
entertainer's character in her closing speech on Tuesday
In a reference to Harris singing part of Jake the Peg at the
beginning of his evidence a fortnight ago, the prosecutor
said no one could buy, bully or sing their way out of a
The main complainant in the sex abuse trial is a childhood
friend of Harris's daughter Bindi.
She says the artist and singer first abused her when, aged
13, she joined the family on an overseas holiday in 1978.
The alleged victim went to the UK police in November 2012.
"So began the investigation into the seemingly untouchable
world-famous children's entertainer," Ms Wass told Southwark
The barrister said subsequently more and more women came
forward, none of whom knew each other.
They all described Harris's "deviant sexual behaviour".
"He was a sinister pervert who had a demon lurking beneath
the charming character," Ms Wass said.
The Australian "considered underage girls as sexual objects"
to be "groped and mauled".
The entertainer believed his fame made him untouchable, the
prosecutor said, adding he was "brazen and arrogant".
Harris claims he had a 10-year consensual affair with Bindi's
friend that started when she was 18.
But Ms Wass told the jury: "She was targeted, groomed and
dehumanised over a period of 16 years."
"There was no talking, no affection, no gentleness. This was
almost clinical, gynaecological sex."
Ms Wass argued the now 49-year-old woman who gave evidence a
month ago was a "damaged and emotionally dead creature".
All the life was drained out of her, the court was told.
Her voice was flat and resigned.
The prosecutor highlighted four points of evidence that
showed Harris abused the main complainant from the age of 13.
First, her mother told the court she had panic attacks which
only started after she returned from the overseas holiday in
Second, her high-school teachers reported that she was prone
The alleged victim also started abusing alcohol in her teens,
and, finally, she told a school friend when she was 16 that
Harris was a "dirty old man" who used to feel her up.
Ms Wass questioned why Harris appeared to forget many things
but remembered others extremely well.
For example, the 84-year-old recalled in great detail the day
in 1983 he says the main complainant first flirted with him
by kicking of the duvet to reveal her bare legs.
"Such over-detailed excuses are often the stuff of lies," Ms
"Mr Harris is a determined and purposeful liar."
Ms Wass argued it was absurd to think four complainants and
six supporting witnesses could have all made up similar
"The prosecution says there can be no doubt they are telling
The prosecutor described the evidence given by the women as
building up a picture of Harris.
Comparing the evidence to one of the Australian's own
paintings she said: "Each stroke can be a little bit vague or
unclear but taken together you can identify what is
The barrister said most of the women gave evidence
anonymously and clearly weren't after fame or fortune.
She noted that some people had described Operation Yewtree as
a "celebrity witch-hunt" and argued that "touching up
teenagers" was acceptable back in the 1960s and 1970s.
But Ms Wass told the jury such behaviour was never
"Neither fame, wealth, age nor talent can provide any excuse
for this behaviour."
The prosecutor dismissed evidence from Harris's older brother
and manager Bruce. He could "in no way be considered an
independent witness", she said.
Harris's daughter, Bindi Nicholls, sat in the public gallery
for the first time on Tuesday alongside her mother Alwen.
Ms Wass said Bindi's evidence - that she'd never been apart
from her friend during the 1978 trip and therefore her father
couldn't have committed the assaults - was "ludicrous".
Justice Nigel Sweeney told the jury the defence would deliver
its closing speech after Ms Wass.
The judge will then sum up on Monday with the jury likely
retiring on Tuesday to consider its verdict.
Harris is charged with indecently assaulting four girls in
the UK between 1968 and 1986.
He denies all 12 counts.