ALENA PO ROLF’S ‘APPETITE FOR GROPING GIRLS IN PUBLIC’
VETERAN entertainer Rolf Harris had it in his nature to grope women and girls “right under the noses” of other people in public places, a court has heard.
The 86-year-old fed his “appetite” by indecently assaulting seven females – four aged no older than 16 – while he was a TV celebrity, a jury was told.
He took opportunities to grope his victims in public places, and was for some time good at not getting caught, prosecutor Jonathan Rees QC said.
In his closing speech in the trial, which has lasted almost three weeks, he said: “It is striking that so many of the allegations involve Mr Harris getting away with a sly, quick grope right under the noses of people who did not notice.
“We suggest Mr Harris was very good at getting away with it.”
The Australian is serving a prison sentence for indecent assault against four females.
Mr Rees said that these convictions show Harris “has a propensity and appetite for indecently assaulting females, including those under the age of 16”.
Harris, who sat in the dock of Southwark Crown Court, has been listening while wearing a court hearing aid.
Until late last week he had been following the trial via video-link from prison, and opted not to give evidence in his defence.
The pensioner, his lawyer Stephen Vullo QC said, would not have anything to add to his police statement in DENIAL: Rolf Harris which he denied all of the allegations and said he had little recollection of the events he is said to have attended, where the alleged assaults took place.
Mr Rees said: “We say that in the circumstances of this case you would be entitled to conclude that his choice not to give evidence is because he wouldn’t be able adequately, or at all, to substantiate any of these claims under cross-examination.”
A number of the alleged victims told friends or family members what had happened before Harris was arrested, ahead of his first trial, Mr Rees said.
He told the jury this shows they did not come forward for attention or money.
Harris denies seven counts of indecent assault and one of sexual assault.
The trial continues.