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.