We had a quick look earlier this when Rolf Harris was acquitted of 3 charges of 7 historical sexual offences, with the jury being unable to agree on the remaining 4.
The full details of the accusations that he faced on this occasion (it seems that three were from the original trial with one new one) were not clear, but according to the BBC they were :
- “groping a 14-year-old girl during a music event at the Lyceum Theatre in London in 1971”
- two indecent assaults on the same teenager in 1978, during filming for ITV celebrity show Star Games.
- touching the breast of a 13-year-old girl after filming BBC children’s TV programme Saturday Superstore in 1983
The failure of the jury to agree on these cases caused a re-trial in May 2017, during the course of which, unusually, Mr Harris appeared on video link at the start before being released from the sentence previously imposed on him half way through.
On 30th May 2017, the jury were discharged from giving a verdict, having been unable to agree on verdicts on any of the four counts.
This is unusual, but not unheard of (see our factsheet on it here). The general rule is that unless there are exceptional circumstances that is the end of the matter – the CPS will not seek another trial and the defendant is acquitted.
In this case, there were no exceptional circumstances (as the prosecution recognised) so that was the end of the road – not guilty verdicts were entered on the four remaining counts and Mr Harris was found not guilty.