Rolf Harris cleared of 3 further charges, jury hung on 4

Rolf Harris cleared of 3 further charges, jury hung on 4

Photo from Wikipedia

We looked last year at the new charges faced by Rolf Harris (it seems that in the modern age in cases such as this the Courts have accepted that everyone will know about the previous convictions).

He stood his trial in January and February 2017 and on 8th February 2017 we learned that Mr Harris was acquitted of three charges that he faced, and the jury could not agree on the other four counts. The Prosecution have a week to decide if they want to have a re-trial on the remaining counts.

According to the BBC the charges of which he were cleared were as follows :

  • indecently assaulting a young autograph hunter on a visit to a Portsmouth radio station with her mother at the end of the 1970s
  • ;groping’ a blind, disabled woman at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London in 1977
  • sexually assaulting (under the 2003 Act) a woman in her 40s after filming a TV show in 2004

Because of the potential re-trial, there is not much that we can say at this stage.

One thing we would note is that the jury were fully aware of his previous convictions and yet this does not seem to have prejudiced them in this case.

Another interesting point is that due to his age and infirmity, Mr Harris was given permission to ‘attend’ his trial by video link, including to give evidence (although in the end, he chose not to give evidence to the jury). We understand that he was directed to attend for the verdicts however.

Again, this is something that we intend to look into in more detail when any re-trial is finished.



  1. Mr Harris is a victim of compensation culture and the failings of operation Yewtree. “We need a childrens entertainer from the 70’s whose still alive… Trial by media”

  2. Whilst I strongly believe people should be punished for their crimes, I have a deep unease about historical accusations that are 40 or 50 years old being brought forward for all the reasons that have been discussed on various blogs including this one. As commented above the knee jerk reaction of Inspector Knacker to criticism and the ‘ fishing expedition’ methods they have used to pursue their targets including releasing names and in one case tipping off the BBC so they could film a raid I don’t believe this is real natural justice.

  3. If 40, 50, 60 (pick a number) years ago I decided to rape or sexually assault someone and hid behind the fact that my celebrity and fame would protect me but now I find that that particularl house of cards is tumbling down I have no-one to blame but myself…and no matter how hard I try to deflect or to draw attention away from myself and what I did. I am still to blame for what I did, should I get caught, many decades later, it is entirely my own fault. Everything else is just background noise.

  4. Would still be nice to have some witnesses or even police reports from the time… otherwise. Sometimes people (women in their 40’s) lie make up stories to shock work colleagues. The balance of evidence even after a huge 4 year media frenzy 4 “fishing trip” is all still a little bit vague/ sketchy. For all we know single-at-the-time Vanessa might have been sending mixed messages to poor old Rolf. Sex is funny like that between adults, not very black & white, unlije the law

    • Let’s see if I was going to rape or sexually assault someone would I:

      a) have a witness(es)
      b) have no witnesses

      Emotive language like “fishing trip” and “media frenzy” do not render allegations of rape or sexual assault invalid or untrue. As for “mixed messages” and being “single at the time” these are no excuse for attempting to rape or assault. Similarly consent is an extremely black and white matter either you have it or you don’t.

      ‘Poor Rolf’ should have kept his hands, and the rest of his anatomy, to himself.