Har­ris put hand up my skirt, wit­ness tells jury

Court: Jailed en­ter­tainer de­nies he touched girl when she was aged 12

The Press and Journal (North-East) - - News - BY AINE FOX

Rolf Har­ris put his hand up the skirt of a 12-year-old girl as she stood inches from her mother, be­fore giv­ing the child an au­to­graph, a court has heard.

The woman is the youngest of the al­leged vic­tims in a se­cond raft of in­de­cent as­sault charges against the en­ter­tainer, and told his trial he touched her “where no one had touched me be­fore, not even my­self”.

Giv­ing ev­i­dence about the in­ci­dent, which she said hap­pened in Portsmouth in 1977 when she went with her mother to get the Aus­tralian celebrity’s au­to­graph, the woman, who de­scribed her­self as “com­pletely un­worldly” at that time, said: “It just felt hor­ri­ble, it just felt wrong.”

Har­ris is al­leged to have said “let me give you a lit­tle cud­dle” be­fore as­sault­ing the young girl as her mother stood less than a foot away.

The woman, who ap­peared via video-link at London’s South­wark Crown Court, said she had ini­tially been re­luc­tant to tell any­one about what hap­pened af­ter claim­ing her mother dis­missed her ac­count of the in­ci­dent, which she said lasted sec­onds be­fore she pulled away from the star.

She told the jury: “She (my mother) said some­thing like ‘Don’t be so stupid’.”

She added: “I felt like, if my mum didn’t be­lieve me then who will be­lieve me?”

“I felt like, if my mum didn’t be­lieve me then who would be­lieve me?”

Har­ris is ac­cused of as­sault­ing seven girls and women in a se­ries of “brazen“at­tacks span­ning 30 years, the most re­cent in 2004.

Har­ris, who is serv­ing a sen­tence at Stafford Prison for a se­ries of of­fences of in­de­cent as­sault car­ried out on four fe­male vic­tims, is ap­pear­ing by video link.

The 86-year-old has pleaded not guilty to the seven fresh counts of in­de­cent as­sault and one al­ter­na­tive charge of sex­ual as­sault.

Har­ris had re­marked: “Are you the only two here?” when he met the vic­tim and her mother out­side af­ter he ap­peared on a show on Ra­dio Vic­tory in the city, the woman said.

De­fend­ing, Stephen Vullo QC sug­gested such a small crowd would have been un­usual be­cause “in 1977-78 Mr Har­ris was a fairly big star, wasn’t he?”

He sug­gested the year the woman had writ­ten in her au­to­graph book was in­cor­rect, say­ing: “I can’t agree with you that he was there (at Ra­dio Vic­tory) in 1977.”

The woman, who, the court heard, said she had been abused by a fam­ily friend in her child­hood and not be­lieved by her mother, re­jected a sug­ges­tion that she had come for­ward to seek the “sup­port and at­ten­tion” she did not get in re­la­tion to that in­ci­dent.

Mr Vullo said: “Can I just put to you that the al­le­ga­tion you make against Mr Har­ris is not true?”

She replied: “I say true.”

She called the NSPCC af­ter Har­ris was con­victed in 2014.

The trial was ad­journed un­til 10am on Mon­day. it is

AC­CUSED: For­mer TV star Rolf Har­ris, 86, is al­ready serv­ing time for in­de­cent as­saults on four fe­males

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