Harris could be hit by compo claims

Rolf Harris. Photo Reuters
Rolf Harris. Photo Reuters
Rolf Harris's multimillion-dollar fortune could be whittled away by women he's abused successfully suing him for compensation.

The 84-year-old has been found guilty of 12 indecent assaults against four girls in the UK between 1968 and 1986.

But dozens more women have come forward to say the former star abused them in Britain and overseas, including in Australia and New Zealand.

Twelve potential victims contacted law firm Slater & Gordon following Harris's conviction.

Lawyer Richard Scorer said the women were advised to contact police but his firm could also help them seek civil damages.

"If people want to seek compensation, if they've genuinely been abused, then of course it's right and proper that they can do that," Mr Scorer told Sky News.

The lawyer on Tuesday said the length of any civil litigation would depend on the number of potential victims involved.

The Metropolitan police has confirmed new allegations against Harris are being considered.

UK child protection charity NSPCC says it's received calls from 13 people who claim they fell prey to the performer.

The director of public prosecutions, Alison Saunders, insists it's too early to say if Harris will face fresh criminal charges in Britain.

"We will work with the police and look at any cases that they send to us to see whether there is enough evidence to bring more charges," Ms Saunders told the BBC.

During Harris's eight-week trial it was revealed his estate was worth an estimated STG11 million ($A20 million).

The prosecution read out an email from the entertainer's daughter to her famous father asking if she was the "sole inheritor".

"It's like being told that you might be winning the lottery at some point and you get excited and dream about the things you 'could' do," Bindi wrote in the mid-2012 email.

She said: "I'm not trying to be an 'it' girl, really, I'm just living quite simply and wanting to do my art work and spend precious time with you guys."

Criminal barrister Kama Melly says victims are most likely to sue Harris direct for damages.

The sexual offences specialist said the criminal court could consider awarding compensation when Harris is sentenced on Friday.

But that would only be for the four complainants in the case.

Other victims may turn to the state-funded Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority.

But, overall, Ms Melly thinks victims would be better of going after Harris with his deeper pockets.

"In this situation we've got Rolf Harris, a man of some considerable financial means, and the victims will be far better off in pursuing him directly through the civil courts," the barrister told Sky News.

The standard of proof required in the civil courts is less than the criminal system demands.

"Sometimes it will be just on the word of the victim alone," Ms Melly said, if the evidence is credible and compelling.

She said any damages awarded would be commensurate with a victim's pain and suffering, loss of earnings and counselling costs.

But, the barrister added, Harris might not want to go through another trial, meaning there could be "settlement by his lawyers to these victims who have suffered at his hands".

Harris will be sentenced on Friday at Southwark Crown Court. He will almost certainly be jailed.

The Australian is just the second person to be convicted under Operation Yewtree, which was set up in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal.

Publicist Max Clifford in May was sentenced to eight years' jail after being found guilty of eight indecent assaults on four young women between 1977 and 1984.

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