We have covered the case of Rolf Harris on the blog, sometimes with some very lively debate below the line (here’s the report on the conviction, our prediction of sentence as well as the details of the sentence that was actually passed).
In relation to the sentence, we said at the time “One thing about sentencing for historic offences is that nobody is satisfied. On the one hand it is lenient, in that it is around half of what he would get now. On the other hand, it is very severe, as it is probably about four times or so what he would have got had he been sentenced at the time.”
There were plenty of calls for an appeal by the Prosecution (see here for a factsheet on Attorney-General’s References). We were sceptical whether this would happen for the reasons set above.
Well. On 30th July 2014 it was announced that there would not be a Prosecution Appeal against the sentence. You can see the full announcement on the AGs website – it’s the first announcement in fact by the new Attorney-General – Jeremy Wright QC.
Whilst this may be a disappointment to some people, it is completely understandable in the circumstances of the case. The sentence was, when looked at in the prism of the law at the time, if anything very severe rather than unduly lenient. It may be that Mr Harris will be appealing the sentence imposed on him.