Rolf Harris – What sentence will he get?

Rolf Harris – What sentence will he get?

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Photo from the Express
Photo from the Express

Introduction

On 30th June 2014 Rolf Harris, everyone’s favourite children’s TV entertainer of old, was convicted of 12 counts of Indecent Assault. Sentence was adjourned until Friday, 4th July.

What sort of a sentence will he get?

 

Offences

  • Count 1: Indecent assault between 1/1/68 and 1/1/70 on a girl A, aged 7-8

Details :

A was queuing for Mr Harris’s autograph. “When she reached the front of the queue, Harris had touched her inappropriately with his “big hairy hands”, she told the jury. She said she had initially thought it might have been an accident but then he touched her again.”

 

  • Count 2: Indecent assault on a girl B, 14, between 1/1/75 and 1/1/76

Details:B was working as a waitress at a charity event when Mr Harris put his arm around her and down her back and over her bottom.

 

  • Count 3: Indecent assault between 5/4/80 and 4/4/81 on girl C aged 15
  • Count 4: Indecent assault between 5/4/80 and 4/4/81 on same girl, 15
  • Count 5: Indecent assault between 5/4/80 and 4/4/81 on same girl, 15
  • Count 6: Indecent assault between 5/4/80 and 4/4/81 on same girl, 15
  • Count 7: Indecent assault between 1/1/84 and 1/1/85 on same girl, then aged 19
  • Count 8: Indecent assault between 5/4/80 and 4/4/81 on same girl, 15
  • Count 9: Indecent assault between 5/4/80 and 4/4/81 on same girl, 15

Details:

C was a childhood friend of Mr Harris’s daughter. The news reports indicate that C was aged between 13 and 15 at the time of the offences. Some of this (seemingly the earlier parts) was behaviour that was alleged to have occurred outside of England and Wales, and so cannot be tried in this country. We don’t know if the jury accepted that evidence or not, and so Mr Harris should not be sentenced on the basis that the abuse started when C was 13.

We are told that “The court heard that the abuse began when she had been on holiday with the Harris family at the age of 13. Later, the woman said Harris had performed a sex act on her at the Harris family home, with Bindi [Mr Harris’s daughter] asleep in the same room.

Further assaults took place at the Harris home and in her bedroom at her own home while her parents were downstairs, she said

The exact details are not clear, but it seems that the most serious is the ‘sex act’ (although it is not clear what that sex act is.

 

  • Count 10: Indecent assault on 31/5/86 on girl D, aged 14
  • Count 11: Indecent assault on D on same day
  • Count 12: Indecent assault on D on same day

Details:

The allegation, as reported by the BBC, is that Mr Harris “asked her to sit on his lap before moving his hand up her leg and assaulting her. He was moving back and forth rubbing against me,” she said. “It was very subtle, it wasn’t big movements.”

The jury heard that Harris had then patted her on the thigh and moved his hand upwards. She said she had “started to panic” and rushed to the toilet. When she came out, she said, Harris was waiting for her and gave her “a big bear hug” before putting his hand down her top and then down her skirt.

Note – D has been widely named as it is reported that she has waived her anonymity. There is (probably) no power for her to do this, at least without having a waiver for this blog, as so we won’t name her as this would be a criminal offence. Clearly, all the other news outlets don’t agree with that!

[Information courtesy of the Daily Mail and BBC]

Sentencing Powers

The maximum sentences for Count 1 is 5 years, for Counts 2-9 it is 2 years on each count. The maximum for Counts 10-12 is 10 years each.

 

Approach to Sentencing

We have a factsheet on sentencing in historic sexual abuse cases. Also worth a read is this on sentencing for multiple offences.

The rule nowadays is that you start with the sentence that would be passed had the offences been committed today, before making allowances (sometimes) for the maximum sentence at the time.

For that reason, the first port of call is the Sentencing Guidelines for Sexual Offences 2014.

 

So. What’s he going to get?

We think that the ‘sex act’ was digital penetration. Today, this would be charged as assault by penetration (s3 Sexual Offences Act 2003).

Count 1 would be Sexual Assault on a girl under 13 (s7 Sexual Offences Act 2003). The remaining offences would be Sexual Assaults (s3 Sexual Offences Act 2003).

The most serious offence is Assault by Penetration. This would be (page 14 Guidelines), probably a Category 2A Offence, giving a starting point of 8 years with a range of 5-13 years. Count 1, we would imagine, would be a Category 3A Offence, with a starting point of 1 year, with a range going up to 2 years.

The other offences differ in seriousness. Count 2 is probably 3B – giving a Community Order and Counts 10-12 are probably 3A, so 6 months or so.

The other offences on C are less clear, as the details are hazy. Of course, we have to remember that there is the assault by penetration.

On that basis, the sentence today for each complainant would be about :

A – 1 year

B – 9  years (8 years for the penetration, 1 year for the other offences)

C – Community Order

D –  6 months

It would not be right to roll all these sentences together. Stepping back, a sentence of about 9 years in total would appear to be about right. This would probably be achieved by shortening the sentence on B and making the other sentences consecutive (and giving a short custodial sentence for C).

But. But. The maximum sentence for the most serious offences is two years – how will the Judge square that circle?

On principle, there ought to be a reduction to take account of that. We would have thought that the appropriate sentence is about 2-3 years (before reduction for his age and good character). However, we got the sentence badly wrong in Max Clifford when we made the same approach, so who knows?

I would doubt the need to send him to prison, given his age and personal circumstances. We live in more draconian times however, and being a celebrity means his chance of getting a non-custodial is lesser. It would not surprise me if he were to get a sentence in the range of 4-5 years.

 

Conclusion

It is always difficult to predict a sentence, especially when you are relying on the newspaper to give the facts. That is before you even begin to consider that sentencing, as is often said (particularly by the Court of Appeal when dismissing an appeal against sentence) ‘is an art, not a science‘.

For that reason, this should be taken with a large pinch of salt. It’s not a definite guess, more a guideline to the parameters, and the approach that the Judge will likely take.

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Sara is a barrister at Doughty Street Chambers practising in crime.

277 COMMENTS

  1. Count 1 has a maximum sentence of 5 years. After 1.1. 61 if under 13 and this is stated in indictment the maximum is 5 not 2. Sentences changed again in 1985

  2. What is to be achieved by sending an 84 year old man to prison? I hope that the sentence imposed is the minimum. I still loathe these historic cases…..

    • Ridiculous, does this make him less guilty of the offences he has been found guilty of.
      I am glad you were not on the jury. You obviously think everyone is good. He used his celebrity status to take advantage of these young children. Disgusting.

      Furthermore, what is even more sickening this man has abused children over many decades. These were young and venerable children. How would you feel if they were yours? He should receive the maximum sentence and root in hell. He needs to be made an example of to deter these predators. Our society has sadly allowed these cases to be brushed under the carpet for so long and that is what I find rather unsavoury.

      I suppose Nazi’s guilty of mass genocide and other cruel and vile acts should also be let off scott free. Wise up and think of the victims. Your remarks are selfish and demonstrate a lack of compassion for his victims. At least unlike Jimmy Saville his secret has been exposed and will not go to his grave.

      I feel sorry for his family and friends who are innocent in all of this and not forgetting those that will lose a lot of money on his art work.

      • I am a woman in my 60’s. i can assure you that this type of behaviour was very common when I was growing up. I am sure also you have heard other women of my age indicating that “touching up” was very common particularly in the workplace. We did not use the word paedophile – just “dirty old man” and we developed strategies for dealing with this. I used to also train volunteers for Victim Support and I have worked with sex offenders. I therefore do not accept your assertions that I am selfish and I lack compassion. I am trying to explain to you the cultural differences between the 1960’s and today. I think I can do this as I lived through the period and am a woman.

        • Rubbish. I too am in my 60s, turned 60 this year. It was NOT that common. Yes, it did happen, but only occasionally…and women knew exactly how to deal with it. It was little more than naughty mischief, in most cases, and those cases which weren’t, well, the man was soon given short-shrift. We had no desire to tear a man’s life apart over something so utterly trivial.

          We were much more Huggy Bear People back in those days, now, we live in a world of Autism, where no-one is allowed to touch anyone else, for this is seen as ‘abuse’. Find out how many of the major feminists have Aspergers. You might be surprised….and if you know about Autism, you’ll know that many who have it loathe to be touched, often feel the gentlest of touches is akin to being abused, be that physically or sexually.

          Of course, no-one will talk about this, as it’s non-PC…but I don’t do PC. I have autism in my family, so I know a lot about it.

          This is also a Witch Hunt against Men, for these Misandric Women are now totally out of control.

          It goes deeper, with Rolf, for you have the Phone Hacking Scandal and those who loathe the BBC on board too…Rolf was the man they needed, above all others, to bring a nation to believing that all are paedophiles..and to detract from all the things they did not want people to focus on.

          It’s worked like a dream…..

          And so many have made £OOOODLES along the way, whilst professing their ‘All About Children’, of course…..

          Utterly sickening!

          FREE ROLF…and, if he wants to give me one his famous Bear Hugs (which he gave to men too), that’s fine by me. Heck, he can even pinch/tickle my bum, if he wants to, for I’m still a warm, loving woman with a sense of humour and fun, who has not yet been turned into a ice-cold, vindictive feminist prole.

          Thank you and…bring back the 70s, Flirting and Having Fun….

      • Rolf was NEVER at Leigh Park, thus, he never could have abused a 7/8 year old child there. All four main complainants stories make no sense, have NO evidence and NO witnesses to ANY allegations at all. Please, RESEARCH this case, for YOU could be next.

  3. “The rule nowadays is that you start with the sentence that would be passed had the offences been committed today, before making allowances (sometimes) for the maximum sentence at the time.”

    This is grossly unjust. What next – people tried today for crimes that historic actions that are offences now but not at the time they were committed?

    Nothing is achieved by prison for such crimes and the current guidelines seem grossly draconian.

    • So you advocate a system that works in favour of those who able to escape justice for 40 years, 30, 20….out of interest, how many years constitutes historical in your vocabulary.

  4. “The rule nowadays is that you start with the sentence that would be passed had the offences been committed today, before making allowances (sometimes) for the maximum sentence at the time.”

    This is grossly unjust. What next – people tried today for crimes their historic actions that are offences now but not at the time they were committed?

    Nothing is achieved by prison for such crimes and the current guidelines seem grossly draconian.

    • What is relevant is he will know that everyone knows and that what he was and had achieved…is no more. To me hes a pedophile.

  5. Historical or not, if a crime of this nature has occurred then that person has to pay for his/her crimes. This type of prosecution sends a clear message to potential perpetrators. No sympathy for Harris.

    • The only message this prosecution sends is to tell young men that having consensual sex with women is a crime and that men should stay at least 1km away from the nearest child.

      Admittedly Rolf Harris was instrumental in spreading paedohysteria with his 1985 “Kids can say No” video so you could lock him up and throw away the key on the charge that he is a hypocrite. However, my gut feeling is that he genuinely believed in what he was doing but at that time had no idea as to how far paedohysteria would go in moving to criminalise relations with teenagers.

      • “The only message this prosecution sends is to tell young men that having consensual sex with women is a crime and that men should stay at least 1km away from the nearest child.”

        What a ridiculous thing to say – it does no such thing. The prosecution tells (young) men that they should only engage in sexual activity if the other person consents or is able to consent. Nothing more or less.

  6. 66

    Details :

    A was queuing for Mr Harris’s autograph. “When she reached the front of the queue, Harris had touched her inappropriately with his “big hairy hands”, she told the jury. She said she had initially thought it might have been an accident but then he touched her again.”

    99

    You call that “details”???

    The blatant adverb-abuse in your so-called “details” reminds me of the news story, possibly in the late News of the World – must have been 40 or so years ago – that said, “He then bit her intimately.” Chuckled an older workmate of mine, in my first job as a teenager (at least as I best now recall), “What’s an ‘intimately’? I’ve never heard it called *that* before!”

    At my young age at the time, I had never even seen an “intimately” (assuming I’ve guessed correctly what an “intimately” is), let alone misread that I’d been offered (like this poor convict) my first chance to *bite* one of them, if I wanted to. Assuming, that is, that I’ve guessed correctly what an “intimately” is in the first place.

    It’s not just prurience on my part that makes me want to read “details” that are – er – actual *details* – who did what, and with what, to whom, precisely, to borrow phraseology from a limerick that was doing the rounds in my school days. I would genuinely like to know whether or not to expect to *die in prison*, for whatever historic offences I may or may not have committed fifty or so years ago, if I promptly hand myself in to the sex police now.

    I fathered four children to a wife to whom I was legally married for almost a quarter of a century, who a year and a half or so before our wedding, was (I now realise) my statutory or technical *rape* *victim*, when she was a consent-incapable 15 years and 9 months old (roughly), and I was 16 and a half.

    But the “touching inappropriately” charges re victim A (who was only seven or eight) are mighty serious. Or perhaps mighty trivial? Let’s face it – who is to know *what* part of her body victim A, now in her 50s, is still to this day coyly calling her “inappropriately” when addressing a court?

    Later in Dan’s post:-

    “The exact details are not clear, but it seems that the most serious is the ‘sex act’ (although it is not clear what that sex act is.”

    The claim to have published “details”, and the admission that the said details are “not clear”, over something as fundamental as *what the sex act [was]”, is an admission on Dan’s part to having published a downright oxymoron: “details” that aren’t at all “detailed”, when push comes to shove. Harris did something naughty, the jury found, bless them. The court hasn’t told us *what* he did, so we could surmise that it was something so naughty that publishing what the jury found that he had done might tend to deprave or to corrupt the curious general public. We should not be harsh on Dan for euphemising this judicial secrecy as mere lack of *clarity*. We understandably want details. Alas, Dan has none, but has learnt how to waffle, after typing a heading “Details”, even though he has none.

    Let’s not be judgmental towards Dan. How many of us would be man enough to write the following, as Dan would have done, if he had told the whole-and-nothing-but truth?

    66

    Details

    I’m sorry. There are absolutely *no* “details” that the court has published. Allegedly ***** did ****** his ****** onto/into Ms *******’s *******, one day, about half a century ago, which amounts to a “sex act”, doesn’t it? But which bit of Harris’s body went where, etc, the *details* of what happened all those years ago? You want DETALS??? I DON’T HAVE ANY DETAILS AT ALL

    So please all feel free to speculate away about the non-existent details, letting your decisions whether you’d rather lynch Rolf Harris today, or to give him a hug and thank him for drawing scenes in seconds using emulsion paint brushes fifty or so years ago, be based more upon sex-politics ideology than scant *facts*, because the facts remain *secret* (a.k.a. “not clear”).

    99

    • What kind of insane society are we creating? Sending an 84 year old to prison, treating him as though he were a ‘monster’. This is not the kind of world I concur with.

      John Allman, well said!

      • he is a monster that’s and he is being treat better than he deserves, think of the young girls he abused you fool, if anyone thinks he should get away with this irrespective of age which has nothing to do with it, you are just as bad as Harris the Monster, im shocked by people like you who thinks ah well it was years ago, I doubt your motives behind it are you sick too ????

    • a.k.a. non-existent.

      Rolf was NEVER at Leigh Park, ever, by the way…and the police and CPS know this.

      Also, there was NO child porn. They know this too.

      All 4 claimants stories can be blown apart and he was sinisterly let down by his legal team, in my view. A shocking miscarriage of justice. Rolf should never have come to trial, ever.

  7. “I would doubt the need to send him to prison, given his age and personal circumstances.”

    So what is prison supposed to be FOR then? Yes, ok, Harris probably won’t offend again but that’s more due to the publicity than his age. Offences like this aren’t just about sex, they’re about power and the thrill of exerting power, so a diminishing libido isn’t necessarily a guarantee that the offender will stop.

    But prison is supposed to be for punishment as well as protecting the public, so even if Harris is no longer a danger does he not still deserve punishment for his appalling crimes?

    And the inconsistency is really striking. Take, for instance, another case that you covered extensively last year – Jeremy Forrest was given 5.5 years for a single relationship with a 15 year old girl who was at pains to point out that it was consensual and that, as far as she’s concerned, he didn’t abused her or cause her any trauma. He didn’t grope her against her will like Harris did. And he is, if anything, less likely to reoffend than Harris if you look at the psychology. But Harris could get less time? For multiple assaults on girls as young as 7? And some people evidently think he should get no time at all…

  8. I don’t really agree with sending an 84 year old man to jail. For 9 years. He will probably die there.
    The judge should give him one year custody then released on a tag for the rest of his life!

    • I am surprised Harris was granted bail pending sentence. Many people in his position aged 84 might make the absolute most of their last few days in their luxury home and then commit suicide on the morning of the sentencing hearing rather than face dieing in jail.

      • Die in jail ? Anybody would think he was a mass murderer. He did do a lot of good through his life as well and raised much money for charities !!

    • why should he get only 1 year, what if it was your daughter he abused ??? you are so tunnel visioned down your life think of the damage he has done to the kids now adults , why cant you see that, at least its a small bit of justice for them

  9. This is all just British hysteria. What Harris did wouldn’t raise interest in countries with serious crime like South Africa, where most women (literally) are raped. Did he murder anyone? Commit GBH? Sending him to jail would be serious abuse of an old man. And what about balancing the pleasure he brought for decades against his offences which are all misdemeanours in my view except the 8 year old. And why is there no statute of limitations in this crap country? I’m told only UK and Ireland in Europe do not have one. And why don’t any serious honest Australians like Germaine Greer speak up and rubbish the witch hunters?

    • To some extent I agree with you. He did much good as well and I know his TV shows in the 1960’s and 1970’s certainly inspired me !!

      • and damaged his good by the evil he showed the young girls and women, what you seen on TV was a showman not the Evil sick monster he really was

      • Well then, as long as you were inspired by him he must be a decent man then. Jeez.

        These people use Charity work as a tool to gain respectability. Have you forgotten about Saville, or was he also an inspiration to you?

    • Unfortunately those who think this is just British hysteria are sorely mistaken. This is a global effort led both by radical feminist groups and politicians hungry for absolute power over anyone who disagrees with them.

      Take for example, the mass of EU directives that have come through regarding sexual offences such as, for example, the directive calling for mandatory 1 year minimum prison sentences for mere possession of ‘child porn’ thought crimes: http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/en/jha/123318.pdf

      Indeed it was also an EU directive that resulted in the age of child pornography being set at under 18 EU-wide (as opposed to being set at the age of consent or not even being illegal at all).

      Similarly here’s a major EU directive that criminalised ‘sexual grooming’ and prevented former offenders from working with children, amongst other things: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:32011L0093

      There are also new directives being pushed through to outlaw ‘sexual harassment’ across the EU. In Belgium it has recently been made a crime. This means a woman can accuse any man of sexual harassment and he will be arrested.

      Regarding your point about statute of limitations, there are moves underway to abolish the statute of limitations for sex offences right across Europe and ultimately the world. For example Eivind Berge, an MRA, explains how the statute of limitations have now been abolished in Norway, amongst other feminist legal reforms: http://eivindberge.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/right-wing-feminism-is-equally-odious.html

      The bottom line is that things are far worse than anyone can possibly imagine.

      • I live in England and lots on here seem to think its ok to abuse im a male and m1 you are correct its very disturbing, theres a collective bunch of very sick people on here

  10. It seems to me that had Rolf Harris not “groped” (a coy way of describing the outrageous act of inserting (uninvited) something of your person into a childs private parts) children, all those decades ago, and in doing so broke the law of the land at the time and offended any right minded persons sense of what is right and wrong he could enjoy his twillight years in the luxury of his own home surrounded by adoring fans, friends, family.

    Unfortunately Mr Rolf Harris DID break the the law when HE chose to sexually assault children, his crimes eventually caught up with him, and now he is going to face the consequences in exactly the same way as any other criminal. Seems straight forward so far. Remember too he could have pled guilty and saved himself and everyone else involved, in particular his victims, the pain of a criminal trial. He chose not to do that too. Again straight forward. Therefore, whatever happens next serves him right and HE only has HIMSELF to blame.

  11. My problem with the whole thing is that he has been taken to court over something that happened about 50 years ago, and 50 years ago men did grab girls bottoms etc I know iv seen it and had it happen and while that was not right it was also more excepted and if every girl who had been garbed took them to court now you might even find some of your own parents / grandparents would be up on charges.
    The only difference is how do you take a random bloke to court when you don’t even know who they are, ( you can’t ) but someone on TV is a very easy target because we do know who they are.
    He is to old to be sent to prison and it will most likely end up killing his wife, if at the age of 84 he had murdered someone then yes prison, but I think what is happening to him is wrong.
    That’s my say on the matter like it or not.

    • So to summarise murder is bad go straight to jail. Molesting a child, “bad boy” *light slap on the wrist* off you go. And take it easy think of your age. Interesting way of handing out justice smacks of ageism too.

      • sweet pea, ml is struggling to understand your post apparently, I on the other hand, comprehend perfectly. Amazing that.

  12. I am also in my 60s and remember men interfering with children was as repugnant then as it is today. Child molesters were/are the lowest form of life in jails for good reason. There was a problem of being touched up on the tube but it was not something that was tolerated by most women. Escaping justice for 40 odd years should not be a get out of jail card. Replace – “molested a child” with “robbed my mother of her life savings” and see if you feel as forgiving. He deserves jail and so do all of his ilk.

  13. Turn back the clock and deport him to Australia. Let the country of his birth deal with him, he’s not welcome here anymore. I feel nothing but contempt for him, but great sympathy for his poor wife and daughter. I’m sure they were as much in the dark as the rest of us.

  14. Celebrity Witch Trials. Another Witch is burned.

    I am afraid that hysteria over Jimmy Saville has created a miscarriage of justice.

    Unlike Saville where everyone knew what he was like. Harris is squeaky clean. Apart from the
    evidence of his ex-lover an alcoholic who Harris had refused money to recently.
    The evidence seemed very very weak.

    The 50 old woman who says he touched her up when she was 7 for example! At the time she
    had decided she must have imagined it. It was only recently after hearing about the police
    interest that she deceided it must have been true. Thus at the time she belived she had
    imagined it. Now influenced by the the radio she has changed her mind.

    I think the jury looked at Rolf and saw Jimmy Saville. They saw the witch. They saw some
    one who wasn’t there.

    That the prosectution brings in witnesses like the 18 year old who said Harris tryed to kiss her.
    So what! What on earth is wrong with trying to kiss a 18 year old?

    At the worst he touched a few boobs and bums 30 years ago.

    This kind old man who has made a lot of money for charitys must be going for a living hell.

    Historical cases are ridiculous, there is know way one can ever get a fair trial. The guys
    from coronation street are very luckly. Similar vague evidence but the jury liked then. This
    more of a beauty contest than a trial.

    British justice stinks

    • ‘At the worst he touched a few bums and boobs a few years ago’..James..If I ever find you touching a child of mine..I’.ll empty my 12 gauge into you…you ignorant fool….

  15. Not guilty verdict and the victims are called liars and unreliable, guilty verdict victims are called liars and vilified. Seems to me if you are the victim of a sex offender you never really get justice.

    • I dont think they’re all liars. There’s such a thing of miscarriages of justice due to false memories. It doesn happen in sexual abuse cases. This is why there are multiple charges – the job of the prosecution is to prove that multiple people independently give the same stories of being assaulted. However, in the case of high profile individuals who have, for example, been publically accused of child poronography offences that magically dematerialise from the indictment at trial then it’s possible publicity will generate false accusers. On the other hand if there is no accusers people who know stuff that might help might not come forward because they dont think they’ll be believed. It’s a no win either way for prosecutors.

  16. SEX WITH A CHILD…..do you even have to have a disscussion about it….there is only one answer….JAIL TIME….Age does not make him innocent ….

  17. I personally couldn’t care less what happens to him. His reputation is ruined and he will now be remembered as a slimy dirty old man, which is just what I see when I look at him. I have seen the damage child abusers cause through my work.
    If he is jailed I expect he will be treated well. If he stays free then I suspect he will live in fear and probably be confined to his home for fear of attack.
    He also will have to live with the knowledge that he has surely hurt his nearest and dearest.
    Whatever form of punishment he receives he deserves.

  18. About 25 years ago I was a young bricklayer’s labourer. I used to get picked up every morning in a truck and our journey to the yard or wherever we were working would invariably take us past a local girls school.

    Every morning the types of conversation were of the “cor…..wouldn’t mind giving that one” ilk. Today all those blokes in that truck would be considered paedophiles for ogling 13 year old girls. Then, nobody thought twice about the filth that was spoken.

    I’m not condoning this but it seems to me that the world was a very different place 25 or more years ago. In the 70’s the entire country was like a scene out of the Sweeney.

    I won’t excuse Harris for kiddy fiddling with an 8 yr old (if he actually did – the details are pretty scant) but I can’t help think that where the others are concerned maybe he’s a victim of an era and we are applying today’s standards to half a century ago.

    It simply wasn’t as black and white then. I know half a dozen people who were late teens and early 20s who had girlfriends of 14 or 15. I don’t imagine they were looking at the wallpaper waiting for sweet 16 to roll around. That was not uncommon then. Today it’d get you porridge.

    • The behaviour you witnessed in the 70s with your building buddies is still prevalent today, it hasn’t just disappeared. Dysfunctional men use the same language today as they did then. Old enough to bleed, old enough to butcher etc. It is said in whispers today but that dosent make the effect any less callous.
      I have two daughters who are currently working behind my local bar, trying to earn enough money to go to university. The punters are all old, portray themselves as pillars of the community, freemasons, ex-coppers etc.
      As a father, I have sat quietly at the bar and have been astonished at the infantile and crass remarks that my girls receive on a regular basis from the customers, most of these customers have children the same age as mine but apparently it seems that girls who work hard for minimum wage are fair game to these sleazy narcissists.

      The word narcissist describes these people perfectly. So precious with regards to how they are treated yet lack any kind of decency towards other peoples children.

  19. I know a lot of people who would be in rolfs shoes now . there were a lot and I mean a lot of so called touchy feely people about and this wasn’t just men either in the 70s ..it seemed the norm in all honesty and I had a few pat my bottom in my time and make comments about my person and dress ..I don’t understand why they all waited between 30-50 yrs to speak out .is it because of his wealth .. is it because sexual discrimination and laws changed .if some serious sex act/crime had been commited against me id have shouted from the roof tops or at least told my mom or dad what the man had done or at the very least asked someone if it was normal behaviour .these people didn’t tell anyone till now .this seems strange for so many women ..I also don’t understand how he did this behaviour at times in front of people or in front of cameras or his wife .was he under the influence of alcohol at some of the times as this makes some people get wandering hands not that im excusing his actions .

  20. I don’t believe he will ever get a fair trial . I believe some will jump on the band wagon and because of who he is will make accusations to see if they will get compensation .I think as long as you can find out where he was and when you will have a case …witch hunt does spring to mind … look at one corrie character I don’t have to mention his real life or soap name ..he was a 2000+ womaniser .he walked free .I believe he was more guilty than this old fella . I am the first to string someone up for sex crimes and say lock away the key ,castrate them etc .. but I cant help but think somethings not right with this case .

    • What’s not right? “everyone did it didn’t they” or “it’s trivial” except of course if you were one his victims left frightened and traumatised due to sexual molestation by this powerful, famous older man knowing that no one would believe you because of who HE was. Hiding in plain sight, using celebrity to cover your tracks. Supported by others who throw around insulting accusations about the victims with words like compensation & money grabbing.

    • If he is not guilty as he pleaded in court, I wonder why he doesn’t fight more vehemently to clear his name ? I know I would if it were me………..

  21. Yes and now that he’s been found guilty another dozen or so “victims” are smelling the sweet scent of compensation. I grew up in the seventies and my first boss used to have me sit on his knee in his office. Being young and naïve I just went along with it, thinking it was normal behaviour. He would put his hand on my leg but nothing more than that. But how would that sort of behaviour be viewed now? I suspect there are a great number of Rolf’s out there breathing a huge sigh of relief that they never became rich and famous. This is definitely a celebrity witch hunt, no doubt about it.

    I also fail to see what is to be gained by sending an 84 year old man to prison. His real punishment is the knowledge that his career and reputation are now in tatters and the world knows him for what he’s done. Leave it at that, there are much worse people walking free.

    • Debbie when you were made to sit on your bosses knee did you not feel humiliated? Was there not an emotion within you that screamed out silently within your head for your boss to f*** off.
      My head master at my primary school use to make me do the same thing. At the time I felt uncomfortable with it but was too timid/young to speak out.
      40 years later and all I feel now is anger, I cannot excuse his behaviour and to be honest, Im fed up with those of you who do exonerate these abusers with the ‘passage of time’ excuse.
      It never was and never will be acceptable to denigrate people to the status of victim.

      Prison should be Harris’s new home.

    • 2 years 10.5 months is the time he will serve. He will be called Nonse by the mostly corrupt, cowardly, bullying screws (Prison officers) and many inmates alike. Even mass murderers have a prison top dog heirarchy and celebrity over sex offenders. Still he will have one visiting order to send out each month to two nominated people of his choice and one privilige visiting order also. That means two one hour visits a month if he is lucky.it is a myth that just anyone can turn up ans visit a convicted prisoner. Being convicted does not mean guilty, jouries are human and prejudiced and so can make mistakes. There are about 10% of the prison population who are completely innocent of any crime who are locked up and ill treated by staff and inmates every day. Still he can hire a TV and Radio from his prison allowence given each week and nowadays they have en suite toilets so no more buckets and morning slopping outs you saw in porrage! They have two hours wing association once week and some can do education courses. Others can work making cheap toys and such in the workshops. Some prisons but on a film for inmates to watch once a week and also have gospel singers and such during sunday services. Prison life can be dangerous but is also more comfortable today than in the past. The biggest criminals in any prison are the biggest unconvicted people in any prison are the prison officers and governors and civil staff. They can and do smuggle in contraband to prisoners and even steal items from the workshops to give away are sell. All fact not lies.

  22. I don’t think its a case of “famous” powerfull older man .. when I was a kid rolf played his stylophone and drew pictures .I certainly didn’t think he was famous,he was just someone who was on tv ,he certainly wasn’t a pin up and if hed done something sexual id have spoken about it. yes I do know theres people who wouldn’t but to not even question it and for so many to keep quiet.. times have changed dramatically .you only have to watch 60s and 70s tv to see that . yes your also gonna say but it was tv .but that’s how people were back then as Debbie says theres lots breathing sighs of relief who like her boss have done the same sit on knee , pat a bottom and say chop chop make a cup of tea etc etc .. you see people from the 70s ,80s Bernie Clifton with his ostrich , rod hull and emu , bob and spit the dog to name a few .ive seen those puppets do quite a bit of touchy feeling if im honest and if im not mistaken a hand was inside it and this was on tv .. it was a completely different generation . im not condoning what this person has done but the 7-8 yr old initially thought she had imagined it .then when another came forward suddenly decided it was true ? and the fact this was done in front of people seems very strange no one said anything at the time .

    • I think I read somewhere that fame is only loaned to a person and should be used well and with respect…………!

  23. Thank goodness that feminists and others stood up and said NO this is wrong. You cannot sexually molest women and or children and expect to get away with it. The hostility directed towards radical feminists is purely because abusers do not like having a light shone under their dark deeds because it makes it difficult for them to continue to abuse. You can see this even to this day the hatred and contempt, levelled as accusation and blame, for feminists because of what they achieved because it means people like Rolf Harris and Max Clifford who were seemingly unstoppable and other men who cannot keep their hands or their penises to themselves are, at least occasionally, brought to justice rather than never. Yours in sisterhood.

    • “The hostility directed towards radical feminists is purely because abusers do not like having a light shone under their dark deeds” Well, that and people have actually read the SCUM manifesto

    • I don’t see ROLF & MAX in same light. Are you absolutely sure Rolf isn’t being punished in the place of Jimmy Saville.

      • Of course he is Ian. Even if Rolf is guilty his actions barely scratch the surface of what Savile got away with. It seems to me that the powers that be are so embarrassed by their failure to nail him they are hell bent on charging anyone for anything.

  24. He may have something to answer for on the main charge but the three others are complete nonsense. The Police went through every Newspaper over a 6 year period and couldn’t put him at a gig that probably never happened in Portsmouth between January 1968 and January 1970… how exactly do you find an alibi for a 2 year time window? The witness to the Star Games assault kept changing her mind if it was 1975 or 1978. Okay exact dates might be hard but surely you can remember if it was under Wilson or Callaghan…? Tonia Lee was clearly motivated by money but could be telling the truth. Then there’s the use of “bad character” witnesses who – as in the Max Clifford case – accuse the accused of crimes they’re not on trial for? Then there’s the question of the common modus operandi? What was it exactly? As Columbo once said we cant have criminals found guilty on the wrong evidence.

      • It is true we have no Statute of Limitations. However, on the other hand it can take victims of child abuse up to 14 years to come forward. I would say 20 years is a reasonable cut off period. 46 years (the date of the earlierst Harris indictment) is taking the pee in my view. The political purpose of the prosecution is to make the point to victims that just because they think there is no physical evidence does not mean a Jury and the criminal justice system will not believe them … but if the convictions turn out to be unsafe … will that really be good publicity in the end?

  25. I just want to add my voice to those who are appalled at this prosecution and verdict.

    I know this is a criminal law blog, but can anyone explain why the normal time limit on civil damages claims of three years is not going to prevent all those who are looking for compensation getting a windfall?

  26. It seems a lot of people writing on this site are not at all convinced he is guilty despite the unanimous verdicts of the jury? Would your views be different if he had remained anonymous and the various complainants’ cases tried separately? Having said which the jury did give his case a massive amount of thought judging by the amount of time they were out. Personally I would not have convicted him on the one who went for compensation before going to the police – out of principle. If your focus as a victim is simply money, you should lose the protection of the criminal justice system.

    • Howard Timms, why should a victim lose the protection of the criminal justice system? Who gets to decide who is a “worthy” victim. if you’re badly injured in car accident caused by a drunken driver and left in a wheelchair or as an amputee. Why wouldn’t the victim instruct his/her insurance company to pursue a personal injury claim against the other driver. If the driver was some stupid celeb who felt they were above the law so much the better for a hard lesson well learned. What you are doing is victim blaming. The fault lies fairly and squarely with the perpetrator and no-one else.

    • Oh yes and you know what? I’m sure I’ve met him before, wasn’t he the guy that grabbed my bum in the supermarket? ker-ching!

      Oh and Emma, the jury did NOT get this one right. There are far too many ifs buts and maybe’s to make a fair judgement.

      • That’s one way of looking at it. But when you look at the relationship Harris had with the girl at the center of the case. Visiting her room alone, taking her on holiday with him at 13 and making pseudo-sexual remarks when supposedly in loco parentis, having a relationship with her where he seemed to treat her as the same age as him …etc …etc … all of this is indicative of child grooming and I think that’s why the jury found him guilty. As Sam Spade would say none of these things on their own seem like very much … but look at the number of them. And what have we got on the other hand? It’s not just the incidents themselves it’s the whole pattern of behaviour. All those sleepovers when they lived really close to each other anyway. Of course he daughter is an only one so would seek out friends but … it certainly doesn’t look good.

      • What are the chances of accusers giving exactly the same account of the form the touching took (ie bear hug and swift finger in the vigina or knickers) when they didn’t know of each other?

      • I wonder how many of Rolf’s so called friends in showbiz will be prepared to say the same and even come to court today ? Answer on a postcard please !!

  27. rolf will get what ever punishment hes going to face Friday irrespective of whats written here . a fair trial I don’t think so personally after all these yrs ..I think the outcome would have been very different if hed stood in the dock 40 yrs ago ,I think if he was some other average bloke with an ordinary job ,life etc it probably wouldn’t have amounted to anything… not trying to stir an argument but some of these offences happened in front of spectators apparently and in view of others as when you read the accusations the 7-8 yr old wasn’t alone with him,one was in a pub im guessing it wasn’t empty.these people never questioned his actions , his wife never questioned his actions ?? I certainly would if my husband or my son did something to a child that was sexual and I was in view .I don’t think rolf sees himself above the law either ,just because of who he is .. I personally feel sorry for him because its who he is and the fact he entertained children and painted the queen that hes being treated this way .its probably also the fact theres footage of him with jimmy saville.does this mean everyone who has been in a room with jimmy saville will get questioned at some point by police .I don’t put rolf in the same catergory as hall,saville and Clifford .

    • I met Jimmy once down a corridor at Stoke Mandeville when I was doing my nurse training during the 1990’s. I would love to call him all the names under the sun and trash his name to hell, but your honour he was at that time a really nice down to earth fella. It turns out he was the devil incarnate, yet in hindsight how is anybody to know what a person really is – or isn’t ?

      • true! We are all many facited individuals with good and bad within our personalities. My God! The number of Judges getting their genitals and backs and buttocks whipped by professional dominatrixes in the Hatton Garden district of London why its around 1 in 3 of the pompous bastards!

  28. “What are the chances of accusers giving exactly the same account of the form the touching took (ie bear hug and swift finger in the vigina or knickers) when they didn’t know of each other?” Witnesses can be suggested – see the Jill Dando case … and the prosecution would have to select accusers who were linked by a common modus operandi…. it’s not impossible for it to be a fit up. Particularly if you arrest him on child porn charges and assault charges then the child porn charges dematerialise. People might be tempted to tailor their evidence because they think he’s obviously guilty anyway. None of this would matter much if the prosecution had managed to place Harris at specific places and times. Every newspaper article local to Portsmouth was trawled, witnesses were sought out who remembered that gig. They couldn’t find anybody who was there. Yet he’s still found guilty of it. I expected him to be found guilty of some of the charges … but all? If the prosecution’s case is that the witnesses should be believed because they tell similar stories… well, many people think they’ve been sexually abused by aliens … it doesn’t make it true because there are a lot of them. It doesn’t make it false either. But it doesn’t make it proven. Sorry this is not enough. I expect the prosecution to reliably place the accused at the scene of the crime. Instead we have events jumping back and forward in time by three years to fit film footage that mysteriously turns up mid trial – did no one really know this existed or was there witholding of evidence? And gigs in Portsmouth that there’s no historical record of at all. Could do better.

    • You can’t condem the accuser for getting a year wrong when they were v. young but at the same time Harris said he didn’t appear in It’s a Knock Out but knew full well that he did appear in a similar programme that could have been remembered as It’s a Knock Out. I really don’t see how the victims could all be so precise – if they were going to make it up it would have been a more believable scenario surely. As for Portsmouth – one witness (not a victim) said he got Harris’ autograph and he was there primarily to open a shop.

      • “You can’t condem the accuser for getting a year wrong” I think I can, but surely all this should have been ironed out before the trial. It’s a farce that the police took a charge to trial not knowing what year it is in. Then when evidence magically appears mid trial I’m suspicious… although conversely one could cite the Dave Lee Travis trial where when it came to trial someone sent in a home video proving an assault didn’t take place. I think that the police told her to say 1975 instead of 1978 because this removed the issue of consent as well as making it easier to get the charge on the indictment. I think it’s amazing they had time to read every newspaper in Portsmouth over a 6 year period but no one thought to check imdb properly. Must try harder!

        • Re Cambrige the Daily Mirror are claiming credit for unearthing the video – a reader remembered the event and got in touch

    • Be interesting to see if the information that is subject of a suppression order (printed in Australia but not allowed on line or to be seen in the UK) would be allowed into the mix if there is an appeal.

    • If he were my father or husband and I felt he’d been wronged, I’d be screaming his innocence from the hilltops, but that’s the Greek in me………..!

  29. It seems Tonia Lee has suffered bouts of depression and has difficulty sleeping. Apparently she disclosed this information in TV and magazine interviews in return for a cool £33,000!
    Of course none of these victims are motivated by money. This whole thing is a joke.

    • Rolf was found guilty of serious sexual offences you appear to want to victim blame/victim shame. Let’s talk about what Rolf did had he but kept his hands to himself none of this would have happened.

  30. he has been found guilty that’s what important, you will get people trying to claim compensation who didn’t even see him, that’s life , lock them up too, the law is the law and its there to protect lnnocent people, law abiding citizens, theres obviously been substancial evidence to convict him, I do believe in the British justice system to a degree , I just wish it was more harsher tbh,

    • Well, I still really dont see why they had to make it all mysterious by separating the child porn and assault charges. After all they tried Gary Glitter for both at the same time? But maybe they wanted to make the verdicts ultra safe. All that having extra jurors at the start of the trial stuff to avoid a repeat of the Max Clifford jury bleeding jurors though. AndI still feel too that the prosecution has been a bit of a shambles / farcical at times.. I mean …Does no one at Scotland Yard really know how to use IMDB? Really?

      • Clearly it was the defence who wanted the child porn taken out to the picture in case the jury were swayed by his downloading of child porn (or what he claimed only looked like children but could have been older). Child porn is images of children being abused and v serious indeed – as guilty as if you had abused the child in the same way that buyers of snuff movies are guillty.
        The wife by the way certainly knew this at the time of the trial – what kind of woman supports a man who downloads foul pictures of little girls and they have a daughter themselves. Infirm or not, morality is not a physical thing.

    • Emma you can bang your drum all day long but this conviction is unsafe. Take the victim who continued to have consensual sex with him until she was 32 years old as an example. Would you continue to sleep with a guy who had abused you as a child?

      • Low self esteem, abandonment issues, control issues.
        These are the sort of traits that paedos are well aware of which is why they manipulate and exploit these weaknesses for their own joy.

        Though reading your historical comments about ‘money’ being the objective of these women, you will probably struggle to accept anyones reasoning.

    • I am a fan of the entertainer and always will be, any other side of Rolf I have no idea about, end of…..!!!!!

  31. Well indecent images are what the jury decides … and the law was changed in 2003 to make porn involving anyone under 18 illegal. Hence the rise in age of page 3 girls … and there was the home videos made my Harris …I wondered whether they were the indecent images for a while…

    “Clearly it was the defence who wanted the child porn taken out to the picture” It’s not clear to me at all who or why – maybe the judge wanted it taken out … or maybe the CPS took it out because they thought it would cloud the issues. The trial was complicated enough and lasted 6 weeks… it wouldn’t have been very nice for the witnesses to have to entend the trial longer.
    Although it did make me laugh when Sonia Woodley said he had “stopped offending 20 years ago” just after Sasha Wass has explained about ‘Tiny Teen P****’; Teeny Tiny Girlfriend’; ‘Young Little Girlies’; Russian Virgins; ‘My Little Nieces’; ‘Little V******’; and ‘Babes Joy’.

    • FYI re porn:
      ENTERTAINER Rolf Harris allegedly attempted to erase pornographic images of young girls he had downloaded on his computer to protect his reputation and save his family embarrassment, a London court has been told.
      Such was the graphic nature of the child pornography involving what was believed to be some girls under 13 years old, prosecutor Sasha Wass QC said she would not at this stage describe the images in detail to the court.
      But it was a pattern of behaviour, she said, that showed Harris’s interest in children as he faces 12 charges related to sexual offences over 20 years, including the indecent assault of a 7 or 8-year-old girl and a 14-year-old girl in late 1960s, 1970 and 1980s.
      But his lawyers yesterday claimed the downloading was accidental.

  32. All though I don’t agree with what he’s done you have to take into account times have changed the lesser of the charges relate to things that were accepted in the 60s/70s/80s, what happens when all these “historic sex abuse trials” have finished, shall we then go and arrest the cast of love thy neighbor and charge them with racism ?,

  33. We don’t want Rolf to come back to Australia. For those you who condone what he did, all I can say is don’t have daughters. Rolf is a creep.

    • Rolf Harris: multiple victims, pattern of predatory behaviour, years of emotional trauma to those he assaulted – 5 years 9 months

      Jeremy Forrest: one victim, isolated instance of foolish rather than predatory behaviour, a few days of trauma to the girl’s family – 5 years 6 months

      Not sure I’d call that UK justice at its finest.

      • unfortunately the Judge could only pass a sentence as the law was at the time of the crime. If he had committed those acts today it would have been yrs more. Crazy to reward someone for getting away with vile acts for most of his adult life.

  34. “Crazy to reward someone for getting away with vile acts for most of his adult life”
    I dont think he was rewarded for getting away with vile acts. I think he was rewarded for his talent. If this trial has a moral it’s that we mustn’t confuse people’s talent with their prediliction to be sexual predators. With his successful career and long term partner Harris seemed to be a perfectly normal person. Cilla Black said she never saw any dark side to him. Of course she didn’t. She was his equal – and that is why he never tried it on with her. He deliberately and carefully picked on those he thought would not be believed. It isn’t that people were decieved. They were simply incredulous.

  35. He is such a nice fellow and ahas been treated harshly by the lying bimbo’s and judicial celebrity hunters. He can suck my cock all day and everyday so he can.

    • yeh rot in hell harris , should be locked up though until he is dead, hopefully he will never see life outside again

  36. Jesus, the number of professional actresses hired by the Clown Persecution Service and the Department of State Persecutions is phenomenal! Sure some may be just genuine complainants but most are the self same women making the self same claims against multiple personalities aided and abetted by corrupt lawyers and police officers.

  37. Rolf Harris’s prison sentence has been referred to the attorney general for being unduly lenient, it has emerged.
    Too right it is

  38. At 84 i felt he had been through enough, he has been stripped of everything, ashamed,, public-ally humiliated and literally made housebound ever since this was first made publi, this man has lost everything. We talking offences of over 20 years. Yes he was a touchy man, but he never had sexual intercourse, or undressed any of his victims who claimed he done these offences. Lets forget about of the good things this guy did, all the charity etc etc…….I think he will die in Prison.
    He might had been better giving him 5 yrs community service
    I believe its all about money, how much can they get!!!

    • Absolutely spot on Martin. Sending him to prison is a complete waste of tax payers money, he’s no danger to the public now, he wouldn’t dare go near anyone after all this. His real punishment is loss of career, loss of reputation and public contempt. What really annoys me is when people like Linda Nolan and Vanessa Feltz (never one to keep her gob shut about anything) suddenly jump on the bandwagon and claim he molested them too. Why not bloody say so at the time?????
      Let the guy spend his last years with his family, there are far worse than him walking the streets.

  39. yeh community service in my community where folk have kids for him to perv on, infact why don’t you put him in your back garden, pat him on the head and tell him , oh its ok for wot you done you naughty boy,
    seriously he is Evil open your eyes pal

    • If he was so bad , he would of still been doing these offences, but all they could drum up was people who claimed he did this 30 years ago….. ITS MONEY PURE AND SIMPLE……., and if it wasn’t for the Jimmy Saville , this case would never of come to court……Why on earth didn’t the police ever have any complaints held on Record over this time period about Harris, surely someone must have gone to the Police? or all of a sudden they all waited until now>….I think you need to open your eyes?…….. SIMPLE…..There was no money to be made until now.

      Do you know it was possible that all the victims may had spoken with the prosecution , prior to trial and amended their stories

      Where a prosecutor conducts a pre-trial interview to assess the reliability of a witness’s evidence, the witness may be asked about the content of their statement or other issues that relate to reliability. This may include taking the witness through their statement, asking questions to clarify and expand evidence, asking questions relating to character, exploring new evidence or probing the witness’s account.

      • The Defence got the matter of his child porn – (unless trawling sites like little vaginas and tiny teen girlfriends wouldn’t lead to pubescent girls or worse – unlikely) taken out of the evidence the prosecution could present. Maybe if Rolf Harris could have got his jollies 30 odd years ago by looking at half naked little girls with their legs open he may not have fiddled with them but child porn is still children being abused so he got what he deserved.

  40. The jury seem to have been all over the lace in their taking 2 weeks to decide and then asking strange questions towards the end which seemed to indicate they weren’t going to convict since the 12 charges entirely depend upon 4 women who claim offences committed within 6 yr, 3 yr and 2 yr time spans but in only one was there any evidence Harris had been in the town and no evidence he met the accuser. I find the whole case frankly absurd as it means any woman can lay claims against any man and on the ‘Harris precedent’ every man is guilty if accused. Reading the accuser’s claims of 1 or 2 seconds groping, I frankly find the court has gone stark staring mad. As for the woman who went on to have a 12 yr consenting affair with Harris, I simply don’t believe any woman or any man would ever go on to do such a stupid thing. I hope Harris lodges an appeal if not for the sake of all 32 million males who on this case can be charged with and set up by any woman. This case is I believe about money, pure and simple and one wonders why the judge did not say that Witness C had sought £100,000 off Harris before going to the police and Tonya Lee has already got £50,000 and will apparently do anything for money according to one witness to Harris’s barrister.

    • Even though I sympathis with you Asquith, even if Harris wins an appeal he is still tarred re the computers downloads. The law is the law I’m afraid and his whole career/life is in tatters !!

    • “As for the woman who went on to have a 12 yr consenting affair with Harris, I simply don’t believe any woman or any man would ever go on to do such a stupid thing”

      They might do if they’d been abused for years and had other psycological problems. People like Harris seek out the most vulnerable people they can find because they’re the least likely to be believed. I dont believe Harris was responsible for all her problems but I do believe he groomed her? What kind of grown up wants to take someone else’s kid on a five week holiday with them? What kind of a holiday is that? Of course there are lots of adults who like children but for an adult to have a very close relationship with one child like that is … well … why did he take her to Hawaii …perhaps because he knew he couldn’t be prosecuted for what happened abroad? The more you look at it the dodgier it is. As Sam Spade would have said maybe some of these things are unimportant I wont argue about that but look at the number of them…?

      • mraemiller, sadly the jury was all over the place and your notion that this woman aged what 55 or so now can lay the entire blame for her life on Rolf Harris is simply ridiculous. Frankly while I find the notion that it is alleged that Harris had porn with suggestions of under age sex (but his defence team said the women were clearly NOT under age) to be worrying.
        It ought to be one person’s word against another and as the woman had apparently previously sought to blackmail Harris to give her £50,000 which he refused says to me that the woman’s claims to be opportunistic.
        As for her claims that Harris described in a bikini at 13 as attractive which is her recollection of events 40 yrs ago to be as reliable as an ice cube in a furnace and not the basis for destroying a man of 85…

  41. mjr, you don’t know the truth and if the women had all been groped in public places before hundreds of people, why was there neither any actual corroborating dates or any witnesses or any complaints made to anyone until 30-45 yrs later…It’s absurd. Maybe you will next be accused if you have £10m or even a few £000.

  42. no such luck there with the money from me, I aint 2 pennies to rub together, there must be more truth than lies and im sure there is lies on both sides, but you have to trust the justice system rather than us being barrack room lawyers or running around doing what we think is justice, we could talk about this for years to come but id say I put my 2 pennies if I had them on theres truth there somewhere and the genuine people who was abused , im on there side all the way, theres been other celebs where people has come forward and found not guilty ie coronation street actors that’s 2 actors not guilty many accused them the justice system said not guilty, harris has went through the same process and found Guilty

  43. The thing that worries me most is that the whole trial seems to come down to the luck of the draw. A different jury, a different outcome. I think where evidence is so subjective and the defendant is famous, a jury system is the wrong way to go. Was Harris convicted because Clifford was? Was Clifford found guilty because a publicist is not the most popular of professions? How would DLT have faired had his trial been post Harris?

    When dealing with people’s lives, be it the victims or the accused, it is unfair to use such a random and unscientific way to decide a) if they’re guilty and b) how long they should be punished. I suspect future historians will look back on this whole yuetree episode in horror and shame. Law seems to have missed the fantastic advances of the 21st century altogether!

  44. I just don’t understand why Harris, his family and his defence team don’t shout his innocence from the rooftops more if that is really he case. Out of interest who were the defence witnesses for Harris – where were all Harris’ so called celeb friends when he really needed them I wonder ?

  45. Interesting to read the “Exclusive” in today’s Mirror Online which tells in which another “victim” comes out of the woodwork without identifying herself (funny how the smell of money never fails) to “tell her story”

    According to the Mirror’s superb journalism we now know that Rolf Harris slipped his arm around a fellow guest for a photograph just moments before he “sexually assaulted” her at a Buckingham Palace garden party in 2012.

    And the nature of this dreadful “sexual assault”? Erm…..well he put his hand on her arse. Well, that’s what she says so it must be true.

    And I guess that if placing you hand on a woman’s backside at a party is now a “sexual assault” half the male population of Britain should reasonably expect to do a stint at Her Majesty’s pleasure.

    You really couldn’t make this stuff up. And the gullability of you people that buy into this crap is beyond comprehension.

  46. I’ve just re-read that Mirror “Exclusive”. I missed the bit where it says that the “palace victim” cannot face going to the police as she has suffered depression in the past. Bu that’s nothing. Her husband is suffering from post traumatic stress disorder!

    So let me get this straight. In broad daylight, Rolf Harris puts his arm around this woman so her husband can take a photograph. She claims (and remember, this is just a claim) that he basically pinched her arse (the sort of thing Sid James would get up to on a “Carry On” movie) which resulted in her having depression and her husband having post traumatic stress disorder.

    It makes my eyes bleed reading this crap. MJR, and others like you – you are so unbelievably gullible its heartbreaking.

  47. Question from the Jury Raises doubts.

    One of the questions the jury asked the Judge worries me a lot;

    “As opposed to using patterns within counts to help decide an outcome of one count surely it is non advisable to take evidence from one count in the future to judge the count in the here and now NB count 3-9 please clarify?”

    Could the count in the future be the knowledge that Rolf face a trial for child pornography at
    a later date?????????????

    The word “child pornography” is a RED FLAG for this jury. Even though it is not part of the charges it seems Rolf is being judged for this. The “common folk” do not know and have no
    idea that child pornography is not only adults having sex with children but can also be a video of a girl in swim suit dancing, in fact most of the convection for chld pornography are of this type of content. I supect this is probably what Rolf had on his laptop.

    But i understand the confusion of the jury. With terrible vision’s of what they thought was on
    rolf’s computer and the enormous media hype over Jimmy Saville and also the words of the judge “a brave verdict” they really had no choice except to follow the hype.

    That Rolf was unlucky enough that his defence lawyer became sick(mental?) and the jury
    spent a whole weekend with only the words of the prosecution in there heads most also have
    had a big influence on the jury. The replacement advocate seemed to me to give a very bad
    speech. Saying things like “some may think Rolf Harris has been punished enough”; which to
    me as a layman seems to be an admission of his guilt.

    so in short a very bad defence team, bad judge because he should have made it very clear to
    the jury that they must not take into consideration Rolf’s future trial for child pornography. Plus
    purely circumstantial evidence from 4 woman in there 50’s, two of then alcoholics. one of whom was an ex-girlfriend who had tryed to extort money from Rolf.

    The whole thng stinks. The new allegations seem to be largely from adult woman who complain
    about inappropriate touching. No man is safe in this present climate! It is madness.

  48. Iwas around in the 70s in my twenties when it was apparently par for the course (according to commenters here) for women to be groped by older men. Well guess what? It wasn’t and as for a man fingering a little girl or teenagers, justice would have been swift and personal if found out. Supporting this sicko makes me wonder about you. As for “No man is safe in this present climate!” No, you’re not safe if you do what Rolf Harris did to those children – not if I get hold of you first.

    • well said emma, you are right 100% it makes me wonder who writes on this site too, its obviously ok what Harris done to them which makes me sick to think sickos on here thinks he should be released
      well said emma

    • emma, dear dear me. What a man alleged somehow (as most men are rather taller than women and Rolf Harris is apparently 6ft 2inches, a man does what you claim in 1-2 seconds. It is both I would suggest almost physically impossible and time-wise impossible. It is strange how allegedly Harris did all this in full view of hundreds of people and allegedly on national live TV…Wow what were all the 20 men and women on set doing if this was even vaguely true.
      Most commenters are not saying it was OK if what was alleged was done. They are just saying that the women had clear financial motives and I wonder why the woman who attempted to blackmail Harris was not initially investigated for attempted extortion and blackmail…To me she is so unreliable that the conviction I find to not be beyond reasonable doubt and that the benefit of the doubt should thus go to an 85 yr old man who created a lot of happiness to millions of us.
      You seem to live in a very sad and indeed very man hating little world. Perhaps you can explain why this is?

  49. I think I’ve solved the mystery of the gig in Portsmouth. Reading the testimony again I see the witness told the jury that she saw Rolf at a Community Centre with Diana Dors…. according to Hurricane in Mink by David Bret the dates of 1968->1970 tie up almost exactly when Diana “sex party and mates with Max Clifford” Dors returned to the UK and embarked upon a tour of Working Men’s Clubs.

    “As for “No man is safe in this present climate!” No, you’re not safe if you do what Rolf Harris did to those children – not if I get hold of you first.”

    If it is true that innocent men are accused as result of Harris’s actions that is no one’s fault but Harris’s. What he did is, as the Judge said, a breech of trust. Looking backwards at the trial it’s all so obvious isn’t it? The Harris family sound like the Timpson clan … covering up for their own for years … probably in many cases without even knowing they’re being used. Maybe Harris’s brother just thinks it’s normal for women to accuse famous men of sexual assault… Bindi worked really had to try and convince the jury that if her dad had abused her friend she’d have noticed… it was all wasted breath when Harris explained without even realising it was incriminating that Bindi’s friend had masturbated him without her noticing when they were watching TV. Bindi’s friend’s mum says she trusted Harris because he was “boring”. In other words he wasnt interested in adults. When, as Poirot would say, “we look at the psycology, Hastings…” Was Tonya Lee’s evidence made up for money? It didn’t matter …what mattered is that Harris’s brother leaned on one of the witnesses to the event … a witness who ironically hadn’t actually seen anything. When all the arguments about cross admissability were over the defence were simply holding back the tide like King Canute. Simon Ray couldn’t even be bothered to argue he was innocent in his final speech it was the “burden of criminal proof has not been met”. One could almost see Horace Rumpole giving his “golden thread of British justice” speech…

    • During my recent researches into Diana Dors for my project MEMORIES OF DIANA DORS :

      https://www.google.co.uk/?gws_rd=ssl#q=IAN+PAYNE+AND+DIANA+DORS

      I asked Rolf, via his secretary, whether he had any memories of Diana Dors or had ever worked with her during his career, I was sent this e-mail on 16th January 2012 :

      “Dear Ian,

      Thank you for your email.

      Rolf didn’t know Diana Dors and sadly can’t help you on this occasion.

      Kind regards”

      • Which hardly surprises me. Diana Dors and Rolf Harris appealed to quite different audiences, so it was hardly likely that they would be on the same bill.

  50. Hames – child porn is children being abused. Rolf’s child porn was girls who looked like children half undressed with their legs open, posing with teddybears and from sites like tinyteen girlfriends and little vaginas. The jury wouldn’t have known anything about the porn because it was the subject of a suppression order and not allowed to be printed or on line for the duration of the trial. The defence barrister being ill could just as easily worked in Rolf’s favour as the the prosecution’s case would not be fresh in their minds. If Rolf had got off it would have been on some kind of legal technicality – but that is not justice – that is escaping justice. He did so much more that groping someone’s behind and Vaneesa Feltz has not contiributed to the court case nor likely to. Let him rot where he is and save your concern for all the victims who are about to re-live their ordeals in upcoming cases.

    • Rolf Harris couldn’t have been convicted beyond reasonable doubt on any of the charges, yet he was for no other reason than the poisoned thinking and influence of the abuse industry (of which I suspect you are a part) and the luck of the draw regarding the jury that he got. The fact that his defence counsel was unable to do the summing up owing to illness didn’t help either. This was a miscarriage of justice – it is absolutely shocking.

      • He was found guilty presumably because the jury believed the woman and were sure that they were telling the truth, and that Rolf was lying. That’s what juries are there for.

        I imagine that there will be an appeal, and the absence of leading counsel will feature in it. It’s actually quite a good ground and if Rolf Harris was not a celebrity, there is a chance it might succeed. It is much less likely to given the high profile nature of this case. It depends on what other grounds there are as well.

      • sorry this is really a reply to Dan Bunting but I can’t get it to appear lower down.

        Dan seems well versed in the behaviour of courts, juries etc.. It is shocking to me that there is so much scope for subjectivity taking precedence over objective reasoning. Nobody can be sure “beyond reasonable doubt” that somebody is lying. If two people present opposing testimonies then the situation is inconclusive. Only real physical evidence should be strong enough to convict in the criminal court beyond reasonable doubt.

        Every effort should be taken to eliminate irrelevancies, such as celebrity status, from the decision process.

      • There is no miscarriage of justice here, shocking or otherwise, a child abuser got justice. So what he was famous he should have thought about that at the time and kept his hands to himself.

  51. I am keen to find out what actual evidence has led to Rolf Harris being sent to prison. What people say decades later doesn’t to my mind constitute evidence at all. Even if they say similar things about him, or if it is determined that he was in the same town as the accuser, that still doesn’t constitute evidence firm enough to be “beyond reasonable doubt” which is supposed to be the criterion necessary for criminal conviction.

    Am I missing something? Is there any real evidence?

    • Yes you’re missing something – evidence comes in many forms, one important form is what someone says they saw.

      The evidence of the four victims here is all to the evidence needed to find Mr Harris guilty. If I say I saw Mr X do something a jury may be sure I’m right, they may however think I’m lying or mistaken, and if they think the latter I’ll be acquitted.

      My own view is that there should be a statute of limitations as in case from 20-30 years ago it’s generally impossible to find evidence to support your defence (if it would have existed) and I would rather guilty people go free than risk innocent people getting sent to prison (however rare that may be). But that doesn’t change the fact that what someone says happened is evidence and is enough for they jury (if it makes them sure) to find the defendant guilty.

      Scottish law has a requirement of corroboration for all offences. I don’t know enough about how it operates however to say whether it’s a good idea or not.

    • There is evidence that the main complainant told the same story to many people over many years including her therapists and her story was backed up in the fact that it fits with what other witnesses said. Her medical notes showed that she had not simply made the complain up because of Yewtree – she had been telling the same story for many years. She had also told the same story to Bindi’s ex-partner. There is nothing physical with which you can corroborate it but it doesn’t not corroborate with anything. Her story fits the facts. She had the letter from Harris in which he virtually admits grooming her – this is physical evidence – although denies anything physical took place. There was also the film that Harris made of her at the swimming pool at the time she claimed he assaulted her … this again was physical evidence. The Jury asked to see it again. The only parts of her testimony that the defence could shed doubt on and label as suspicious were that she carried to the affair with Harris on so long into adulthood for quite a long time and clearly also had concensual sex with him and that she did not record the abuse in her diary as a child. On the other hand she was open about these facts and did not lie about them. Harris’s claims that, for example, he was being blackmailed simply could not be substantiated either by physical evidence or any other 3rd party.

      There was physical evidence to to substantiate the Star Games allegations. The complainant’s description of Harris’s behaviour fitted with the film footage – again the Jury asked to see this footage again during their deliberations.

      There is no physical evidence of the assault in the London pub but there is convincing evidence that the event happened and that the girl was on Harris’s knee.

      There is no corroborative evidence of the Portsmouth gig ever having taken place as far as I know …but I guess the jury convicted Harris of the other assaults because the assaults that may have taken place in Hawaii could not be charged as they were abroad.

      • Surely some archive link is available about the place of the gig, what about the newspapers from the time, just means trawling through them. I have found gigs in old newspapers in library archives for my researches, it takes a lot of laborious effort, but it come sup eventually…….

        Somebody must be around in Portsmouth who remembers Rolf as a guest at this Community Hall, surely ?

    • There was no real evidence. Just memories that could have been altered by counselling or changed over the years. It was a shocking miscarriage of justice but at least the paedo-haters have something to feast on until the next elderly victim comes along.

      • “Outlying Florist” Your comment suggests it is wrong to be a “paedo-hater” when it’s not. Paedophiles are perpetrators, they deserve to be hated, the children they prey on are the victims.

  52. thanks. Do you agree that the overriding criterion is that it has to be “beyond all reasonable doubt”? It is not just the balance of probabilities, is it?

  53. and then I would ask you Is anybody’s recollection of something decades later “beyond reasonable doubt”?

    We are not talking here about how convinced the witnesses are. The mind is a wonderful thing but it is not a video-recorder whose tape can be forensically analysed, and there are many motivations in this case that might influence recall.

    Though I am sure you know more about that law than I do, I would require reproducible forensic tests on something physical that can be independently verified before sending somebody to prison. The mind and its memory are not amenable to this.

  54. the knowledge of mraemiller is very impressive. I am grateful for giving me these details.

    Again I am drawn to the need for evidence “beyond reasonable doubt”. Agreed, the main complainant’s account has not changed over time. There is a letter from Rolf Harris and there is a film shot by him in a swimming pool. These last two do constitute physical evidence but neither are to my mind incriminating “beyond reasonable doubt”.

    The ability to weave a story that fits unsubstantiated “evidence” again does not mean that beyond reasonable doubt it actually happened.

    For a long time in my adult life I told people that when a child, a crow once settled on my shoulder and nibbled my left ear. I have the indentations to prove it and I could visualise it happening. Or so I thought until my now elderly mother told me a different explanation.

  55. “Somebody must be around in Portsmouth who remembers Rolf as a guest at this Community Hall, surely ?”

    You would think so … but the police searched the papers over a 6 year period and could find no listings of the event. They also did letter drops and local appeals for evidence …nothing. But it was 46 years ago … and if it was a club booking there may be no record of it because it was last minute. Promoters come and go all the time in entertainment – I cant tell you exactly who we booked 14 years ago and even if we found the documents it’s possible that someone may have cancelled and a replacement was found. It does seem unlikely but some very high profile acts will do some very low level gigs if it’s last minute and they want the stage time … it also gives you the chance to push the price up …supply and demand. I mean if you asked me where I was last month I’d have no idea … I’d have to look it up. Harris was very busy in 1968-1970 but…. They story is just about plausible. Is it proven though…? This is where I think the cards are unfairly stacked against the defendent. If the prosecution put up a 2 year time window how can he find an alibi? If they said “It happened on Tuesday 23rd of October 1968” he may know where he was that date? Even if they said it happened in the winter that might help? But moving events around in some cases by as much as 3 years (Star Games) is not fair on the defendent.

    I cant say I feel sorry for Harris …he clearly is a sad old man who likes peado pictures … but I feel uncomfortable the effort that’s gone into mounting some of these prosecutions. I think in part it is a political attack on the entertainment industry. Just because you manage to burn a witch doesn’t mean it isn’t a witch hunt – it’s the number of people you drown along the way too. As with the Max Clifford case I worry about the number of victims who just happen to 15 years old when the perp had sex with them? Is this because the PoPo cant get them for what they really want to get them for … underage sex abroad before 2003? As Columbo once said… we cant have criminals convicted on the wrong evidence, can we?

  56. Child porn charges dropped! What a surpise!

    So the child porn was adult porn. The Purity Police(spanish inquistion) are not dropping these charges out of sympathy for Rolf; it was just a stitch up. Rolf looked at porno like most of the male population.The prosecution used this to sow doubt in the jury’s mind. Dispicable!

    The jury then convicts Rolf because they belive he had bad stuff on his computer. When the
    reality was he had nothing. I think if there had been no pending child porn trial Rolf might well
    have been acquitted.

    Basically after loosing the Coronation Street Show trials they felt that they had to win this one. No matter what. They where looking very silly.

    Should i be surprised after The guildford 4 and the Birmingham 6, M25 3, The Cardiff 3 and on and on and on for ever.

    A leopard doesn’t change its spots! Its always going to be easier to set up and innocent man then convict a guily one. The mob( public) is happy, the politicians and police are happy.

    And meanwhile real offenders some of whom high ranking politicians are left along.

    Shame on you!

    • It is only Rolf Harris’ defence who claim the porn was adult – they claim the explicitly sexual pictures of children were actually adults posing as young girls. As the websites trawled were My Little Neices, Tiny Teen Girlfriends and Little Vaginas amoungst others, the chances are they were child porn.

      The jury didn’t get to hear about any of the porn because it was the subject of a suppression order granted by the Judge at the request of the Defence.
      Had the jury received this information i doubit it would have taken them so long to convict.

      The prosecution are not persuing the porn charges now – not because there isn’t evidence but he is already locked up (briefly) and it would look draconian and in any event – the resources are needed to convict other child molesters – high profile or not.

      • We’ll never know the outcome of the porn charges. The suggestion is that the pictures were of young girls, but not blatantly underage. I think the fact that charges are not being brought suggests that it’s possible the girls were older than they actually looked. It’s not an offence to find an 18 year old girl sexually attractive, providing it stops at that.

        Rolf Harris has lost everything, career, honours, reputation and respect. Locking up an 84 year old man is a waste of tax payers money.

        • The point is they did not look like attractive 18yr olds – they were possibly 18 but they looked like children.
          Because Harris has more to lose than a bus driver or an accountant does not mean he should not do the time for the crime.
          As a taxpayer – i consider locking up a child abuser young or old, money well spent

    • The thing is it is all messed up. There is no doubt that the central allegations about Harris are true. He clearly did groom his daughter’s best friend for sexual abuse. No one takes someone else’s kid on a 5 week holiday to Hawaii out of the goodness of their heart…. he had a relationship with her that was unusual. As the prosecution pointed out it was extremely mechanical sexually. He even admitted to having her masturbating him while his daughter was in the same room without her noticing… then you think …well, if he could get her to do that …couldn’t he get her to suck his penis without his daughter noticing. It’s not actually that unusally for abuse to carry on into adulthood – I think it’s a Stockholm syndrome thing. Okay there’s a slight possibility it was innocent but really there are more red flags than at a USSR rally here…

      Some of the others I’m not so sure about but I guess they put in the cases that fitted with the complex cross-admissibility rules. There may have been more solid cases that were ruled inadmissiable by the judge.

      The child porn… well, it makes the CPS look silly to say it’s not in the public interest to charge him for that and then start talking about charging him for more indecent assaults. The thing is I’m sure there’s plenty more he could be charged with …so whether he’s actually guilty of all the charges on the indicitment is kind of accademic. There’s also the possibility that actually the woman who says he abused her in 1968-70 knows exactly what did happen but is being vague because she wants to protect other people … that is that a peadophile ring was involved somewhere. I tried to work out if Sid James (who was also mentioned) was in Portsmouth at this time … he was there in 1966… but that’s 2 early. He made 3 carry on films during these dates and a sitcom. Unfortunately virtually everybody involved is now dead so hard to find witnesses. But I think the reason she was asked to give evidence is because her description of his modus operandi fitted with that of the other accusers.

      The thing is I think you could have tried him on the main case and he’d have gone down. Some of the weaker charges seem like distractions. But they cant charge him for what he did abroad, can they? I mean I think he did things like taking the girl to Hawaii because he thought he was beyond the law there.

  57. Presumably you were delighted with the 16 years served by a guy called Stefan Kiszko. Ever heard of him? Try Google.

  58. As I have said earlier, I am uncomfortable with the quality of so-called evidence that has secured this conviction. It doesn’t seem to me to be “beyond all reasonable doubt”.

    I am also unclear as to what actually constitutes Indecent Assault. There is a huge degree of subjectivity here, and the definition would seem to change with time and the culture you are in.

    Artists spend a lot of time drawing naked people. The models stand in a room while everybody else is clothed and the artists scrutinise the naked body intently in order to draw it. To people who haven’t experienced this it could seem voyeuristic or even pornographic. I mention this simply to illustrate varying culture.

    There is another point which is what is the purpose of imprisonment in this case? I do get the impression from this thread that there is a wish to have the man punished, so there presumably is a vindictive motive behind the imprisonment. Or perhaps it is to show others who might do similar things (should they have been done) that they will be sent to prison. I don’t think there is going to be much potential for rehabilitation here.

    These things make me question the validity of both the conviction and the punishment.

  59. Most people know the difference between posing naked and art and sticking fingers into little girls – crude as it is that is the crime (and it is a crime). No amount of deliberation and dissecting the verdict for legal flaws will alter what he did. If there was no jurisdiction for what he did (but thankfully there is) i would still want him punished. If it’s ok for grown men to finger your daughters – get help.

    • I don’t wish to antagonise, but is there actual proof (other than what somebody said a couple of decades later) that he actually did this?

      • The problem is that that is proof. It’s like saying “other than it being caught on CCTV, is there any actual proof” of what happened. You can quibble with whether a jury should have convicted, but the complainant saying ‘this happened to me’ is more than enough. It is certainly capable of being proof, whether it is or not is a question for the jury.

  60. I think I can say this without being done for perjury, but on my only jury service the issue was whether there was “intent”. I argued successfully that nobody can tell beyond reasonable doubt what is going on in somebody’s mind.

    Though this is not quite the same, the need for surety is still “beyond reasonable doubt”. It was something that allegedly happened to a child and it happened decades ago. My own story of the crow (see above) illustrates the way the mind works.

    You are right, Dan, that it is a question for the jury. I think that possibly in my own jury service if I had not argued as I did the defendant may have gone down. Somebody else in this thread has suggested that trial by jury was not well suited to this case.

  61. The problem I have is that everyone is looking at Harris and seeing Savile. When you look at the victims in this case we have one that sold her story for £33,000, another that continued with a consensual relationship until she was 32 AND demanded money from him. Then a third who seems confused as to whether the incident ever even happened at all. Beyond reasonable doubt, I personally don’t think so.

    Emma I’m not saying he’s innocent, but at the same time I’m far from convinced he is guilty.

    • Why are you looking at the victims and attempting to victim blame. So a victim sold her story instead of wearing a hair shirt. She was paid by a newspaper not by Rolf Harris and even if she sues him, so what. Who gets to determine how a victim should act or behave. Mike Tyson, convicted rapist is not vilified for making money post conviction and he IS a rapist. Instead of victim blaming, look at Rolf Harris and what HE did. I would stake the shirt on my back that were Jimmy Savile alive today (and this is what happened when he was alive) his defence was to attach his victims. They’re after money… and HE was vulnerable because of HIS celebrity… ad nausea This allows manipulative abusers to deflect attention away from what THEY did and you will note this is exactly what they do all the time..

      • “She was paid by a newspaper not by Rolf Harris and even if she sues him, so what”

        It was at the least a very stupid thing to do because it was potentially prejudicial to the case. That is why they had to ban anyone from Australia or New Zeland from being on the jury. She should have waited till after the trial and she could still have had her £33,000 – probably more.

  62. Reasonable doubt exists. In Scotland we have a verdict option of “not proven”, it’s a pity this is not available in England.

    • A judge is supposed to be disinterested in the Saviles that have gone before, the tears of the petitioner, the raised voice of a witness, the possibility of pornography yet to be discovered, an inner revulsion and wish to get even.

      Trial by jury is supposed to relieve the judge of hard decisions, but the twelve good men and true are not trained in the discipline of disinterest. The things they had available to make a decision are not sufficiently hard evidence to be beyond reasonable doubt.

      • Clearly the evidence they [the jury] had available was sufficient because have considered it carefully and note they took their time to do so eventually having done so they reached a unanimous decision – guilty.

  63. Rolf will spend just 4 weeks at HMP Wandsworth before moving to a low security facility in Gloucester!

  64. “Clearly the evidence they [the jury] had available was sufficient” – indeed the jury felt it was sufficient. There has been uncertainty cast over whether it was truly sufficient for the criminal conviction criterion of “beyond all reasonable doubt”.

    • I can’t see anywhere where… “there has been uncertainty cast over whether it was truly sufficient for the criminal conviction criterion of “beyond all reasonable doubt” other than from those who believe sex offenders should get away with it unless they leave behind a corpse and or a badly badly body.

  65. This article is extremely relevent and useful to this discussion

    http://beforeitsnews.com/libertarian/2014/07/rolf-harris-beyond-reasonable-doubt-2-attachments-2569834.html

    Rolf Harris has been convicted and for many that is conclusive proof of his guilt. However, we should not forget that the British justice system is not

    perfect, it can make errors, as these high profile miscarriages of justice show.

    I do not know if Rolf Harris committed the crimes he was accused of. However, I find the fact that he was convicted, based on the evidence reported by the

    BBC, alarming.

    Let me explain why:

    COUNT ONE – VERDICT: GUILTY

    “The woman said she was aged seven or eight when she queued to get an autograph from Harris at a community centre in Hampshire in 1968 or 1969. When she

    reached the front of the queue, Harris had touched her inappropriately with his “big hairy hands”, she told the jury.

    The court heard that no evidence could be found that Mr Harris had been at the community centre. He also showed his hands to the jury and denied they were

    hairy.”

    When they say that no evidence could be found that Mr Harris had been at the community centre, they don’t mean a cursory glance turned nothing up. They

    searched local newspaper archives between January 1967 and May 1974, council records and even conducted letter drops appealing for witnesses. Nothing, not a

    single piece of independent evidence that he was ever there!

    It is hard to see how the uncorroborated recollection of an event alleged to have happened 45 years ago, when the witness was eight, can constitute proof

    beyond reasonable doubt.

    Consider for a moment, what you can accurately remember from when you were eight? I am not as old as the witness but I can’t remember the name of my best

    friend, my teacher, my birthday party, frankly anything. I have a childhood scar, it must have been caused by a significant trauma. I remember it hurt and

    bled a lot, but I can’t remember how it happened, let alone where, when or who was with me at the time.

    Even if the victim is sincere in believing her own recollection of events, she may simply be mistaken. Memory is not a flawless recording device. It is very

    common for people to believe they remember things that can be proven to have never happened. If you find that hard to believe there is a very good TED Talk

    dealing with it

    As a principle of justice it seems absurd that anyone can be convicted simply on the unsupported “evidence” of someone else accusing them of a crime.

    Only a few days ago a trainee barrister was convicted of falsely accusing a former boyfriend of rape. Here is another recent case and another. People make

    false allegations, for many different reasons; to take revenge on a former partner or in some cases for financial gain. In this case the “victim” made $1.5

    Million before admitting years later that she made the whole thing up.

    Making a claim against a celebrity is a heads I win, tails I don’t lose proposition for any opportunist!

    If the accuser is believed they make a huge financial windfall. If not, they still ruin their target’s reputation (no smoke without fire) and they almost

    certainly won’t be charged with making a false claim.

    Nobody charged the false accusers of celebrities such as Bill Roache, or Dave Lee Travis or Jimmy Tarbuck or Jim Davidson or Michael Le Vell or the

    footballers Nile Ranger, Christian Montano, Ellis Harrison, Loic Remy or another 11 innocent footballers here.

    No one who wasn’t there can be sure what Rolf Harris did or didn’t do in this case, but I know that there is an £11m incentive for people to make up

    accusations and without any corroborating evidence there has to be a reasonable doubt in favour of the accused.

    COUNT TWO – VERDICT: GUILTY

    Another woman said she had been working as a waitress, at the age of 13 or 14, at a charity event in Cambridge in 1975 when Harris had put his arm around her

    shoulder.

    “To start, it was a very nervous but a good feeling,” she said. “However his hand then moved and his hand went up and down my back and his hand went over my

    bottom and it was very firm.”

    Again all we have is uncorroborated allegations.

    I know that Rolf Harris said that he had never been to Cambridge and that this was shown to be a false statement, for many this was the silver bullet that

    proved his guilt. But, failures of memory are not proof of indecent assault!

    Remember, Rolf Harris is 84 years old and has been in show business for 60+years. He has been all over the country for various events and it is not at all

    unreasonable for an 84 year old man to forget having been somewhere 40 years previously.

    Indeed Crime Watch presenter Sue Cook admitted she had forgotten being in the same show

    If you think it through it would make no sense for Rolf Harris to deliberately lie about this.
    He was not on trial for being in Cambridge and being there is not the same as committing the offence. If he knew he had been in Cambridge he would

    presumably know it was for a television show. In the internet age there had to be a chance it would come to light and undermine his credibility as a witness.

    Why take the chance? If he didn’t believe totally that he had never been to Cambridge why not simply say, “I don’t remember being in Cambridge at that time,

    I travelled around a lot”

    Then there is the seldom mentioned fact that the show actually took place in 1978, three years after the alleged indecent assault incident.

    This would make the alleged victim 16 or 17 not the child of 13 claimed. If the accuser cannot remember whether she was a child of 13 or a teenager of 17,

    can we really ruin a man solely on the strength of her memory?

    She also got the location wrong:

    “The alleged victim had suggested the event had taken place on Parker’s Piece, a large green in the centre of Cambridge.”

    The show was actually filmed on Jesus Green a much larger, wooded park about a 6 minute drive north

    So the accuser couldn’t remember when it happened (or how old she was), she couldn’t remember where it happened and yet the jury found her 36 year old memory

    of the indecent assault to be evidence beyond a reasonable doubt!

    When we talk about the indecent assault we are not talking about something so traumatic, like rape, that it would understandably be burned into her memory.

    We are talking about a 17 year old having her bottom touched in the 1970′s, a time where bottom pinching was considered mainstream enough for popular TV

    shows such as Are You Being Served and on billboards for respectable brands such as Fiat .

    Again, nobody who wasn’t there can be sure what Rolf Harris did or didn’t do in this case, but I know that there is an £11m incentive for people to make up

    accusations and

    without any corroborating evidence there has to be a reasonable doubt in favour of the accused.

    I will come back to counts 3-9, but first lets deal with:

    COUNTS 10 TO 12 – VERDICTS: GUILTY

    Tonya Lee was a 15-year-old on a theatre trip from Australia to the UK when, she said, the entertainer fondled her.

    Ms Lee has waived the right to anonymity granted to alleged victims of sexual offences. The three charges relate to one day in May 1986.

    She said he asked her to sit on his lap before moving his hand up her leg and assaulting her.

    “He was moving back and forth rubbing against me,” she said. “It was very subtle, it wasn’t big movements.”

    The jury heard that Harris had then patted her on the thigh and moved his hand upwards. She said she had “started to panic” and rushed to the toilet.

    When she came out, she said, Harris was waiting for her and gave her “a big bear hug” before putting his hand down her top and then down her skirt.

    Harris denied ever meeting Ms Lee.

    It was also revealed that she had sold her story for £33,000 to an Australian TV station and a magazine. She said accepting the money had been a “huge

    mistake”.

    Here we have the uncorroborated accusation of a woman who has already cashed in, to the tune of £33,000!

    She also claimed in her evidence that the sexual assault caused her to lose six kilos in weight during the six week theatre tour. It was then proven in court

    that the alleged incident could only have taken place in the final week of the tour!

    As the defence QC pointed out:

    “Are you really saying between this alleged incident on May 30 and six days later that you lost all that weight….in six days? You have blamed the loss of

    weight and inability to eat upon Rolf Harris.”

    At best it appears that the witness has a confused recollection of events, not surprising after 28 years, at worst she was simply lying for financial gain.

    Again,

    we don’t know what Rolf Harris did or didn’t do in this case, but I know that there is an £11m incentive for people to make up accusations and without any

    corroborating evidence there has to be a reasonable doubt in favour of the accused.

    The remaining allegations concern the childhood friend of Rolf Harris’ daughter Bindi.

    COUNTS THREE TO NINE – VERDICTS: GUILTY

    Seven of the 12 charges related to a childhood friend of Harris’s daughter Bindi. Six charges related to alleged abuse when she was aged between 13 and 15,

    and the seventh to when she was 19.

    The court heard that the abuse began when she had been on holiday with the Harris family at the age of 13. Later, the woman said Harris had performed a sex

    act on her at the Harris family home, with Bindi asleep in the same room.

    Further assaults took place at the Harris home and in her bedroom at her own home while her parents were downstairs, she said.

    The convicted celebrity admitted having a sexual relationship with the woman – but stressed that it had been consensual and had begun after she had turned

    18.

    However, the relationship had “ended in a very
    acrimonious way,” he said.

    The court was shown a letter Harris sent to the woman’s father in 1997, after the end of the relationship.

    The letter said: “I fondly imagined that everything that had taken place had progressed from a feeling of love and friendship – there was no rape, no

    physical forcing, brutality or beating that took place.”

    Here we do have actual evidence, of sexual activity between an older man and a much younger woman.

    Rolf Harris admits to having a sexual relationship with her when she was 18 years old. She is now 49, so at the time Rolf Harris would have been 53, an age

    gap of 35 years.

    To many of us such a large age gap seems unnatural, but it is certainly not unusual for famous older men to have relationships with younger women: 73 year

    old Patrick Stewart Recently married Sunny Ozell, 38 years his junior Michael Douglas is 25 years older than Katherine Zeta Jones. James Woods has a

    girlfriend 46 years his junior, Alec Baldwin’s wife is 26 years younger, Doug Hutchinson is breaking up with his wife who is 34 years younger, Woody Allen’s

    wife is 35 years younger than him, Dick Van Dyke’s wife is 46 years younger and the biggest age gap I could find was Hugh Heffner whose wife is 60 years his

    junior.

    The fact that large age gap relationships make most of us uncomfortable, does not make them a crime, or evidence of sexual abuse. Some women find famous,

    rich or powerful men sexually attractive regardless of their age and almost all men find at least some 18 year old women sexually attractive!

    The letter evidence proves a sexual relationship that we may disapprove of, however, it is not evidence of criminal activity.

    If the alleged abuse started when she was 13 it was in 1978. They had, by all accounts, a consensual relationship from when she was 18 in 1983 until it was

    ended in 1997 when she was 32.

    They had an adult sexual relationship for at least 14 years, whatever trauma she alleges she had suffered, she had clearly forgiven him. Or could it be that

    there never was any abuse? At the age of 30 or 31 she was clearly an adult, so why stay in a sexual relationship with a former abuser?

    The relationship ended acrimoniously, so she certainly had a motive to turn vindictive.

    In addition, Harris told police in 2012 that Bindi’s friend had threatened to expose his affair in the tabloid press in the Nineties and had demanded £25,000

    for an animal sanctuary. Harris refused.

    “The court has previously heard that she was an alcoholic by the time she was in her late 20s”

    There is, considerable scientific evidence that alcohol abuse is linked to confabulation (also called honest lying) where people make things up and honestly

    believe them”

    The standard of guilt in a criminal trial is supposed to be, beyond a reasonable doubt. Without any corroborating evidence of under-age on non-consensual

    sexual activity can it really be beyond doubt that this could simply be a vindictive attack by an ex-partner, or a confabulated tale from a confessed

    alcoholic, or an attempt to gain financial advantage ?

    Some will doubtless say that even if individually these are not compelling, when taken as a whole they paint a picture of an abuser. This is a very dangerous

    conclusion, lots of nonsense is still nonsense:

    Many people have claimed to be abducted by aliens. Individually their accounts are not compelling, but (even though there are lots of them) taking them

    together they still don’t paint a picture of extra-terrestrial attack!

    The media, in its orgy of “Savilization”, has been encouraging people to come forward. The press is also awash with stories of compensation for “victims”, if

    any social climate was perfect for false accusers to try their luck, this would be it.

    I really don’t know (and nor do you!) whether Rolf Harris is an evil paedophile monster or an 84 year old national treasure who has been ruined by

    greedy/malicious opportunists.

    I do know that if all it takes to send a man to prison and ruin his life is an uncorroborated accusation from 45 years ago, then no man is safe under British

    justice.

    http://www.libertarianview.co.uk/current-affairs/rolf-harris-beyond-reasonable-doubt

    • Consider what can you remember as an 8 year old – in other words let’s try to deflect from what was done by the perpetrator by discrediting the victims. Can I remember what I had to eat at eight years old. No. Drawing a blank. Would an eight year old remember if they witnessed a murder, seeing someone get run over, someone spitting on their fingers and then shoving them inside your private parts, yes beyond all reasonable doubt. It goes to show that even with a guilty verdict victims of sex offenders are still not believed (by some). Rolf Harris is a sex offender. As for his victims, to be clear, I believe them.

      • ” Can I remember what I had to eat at eight years old” I have very vivid memories of being 8. I certainly remember different important events that happened when I was 6 and 8. I remember what class I was in… because the teacher changed each year. I remember where we had our holidays. I remember where we hung out. When buildings were built. Scraping wallpaper down, putting wallpaper up. I remember the pantos and plays we went to. I remember school dinners vividly and being forced to eat them by dinner ladies. I remember the difference between being 14 and 17 vividly… because I remember the immense sense of freedom of being thrown out of school and becoming an adult – which was 16 in those days. How someone can be muddled up about the difference between being 14 and 17 …do me a favour. And they got muddled up about which green in Cambridge it was on. I also remember all our holidays vividly. I had a box brownie and photographed things so can fix dates a bit that way… I dont remember being sexually assaulted but I remember being punched in the face by a teacher. Bindi’s friend … I buy her story. The woman who says she had her bum pinched in 1975 or 1977 pull the other one. The woman who says she was sexually assaulted at a Working Men’s Club in 1968-1970 … sounds like she was assaulted but was it by Rolf? What was Diana Dors doing there? And what was Sid James doing there? How did he find the time out from making 3 Carry On films and Thames TV sitcom to be in Portsmouth? We cant ask the cast – they’re all dead and so are the writers. I mean 46 years is over half a lifetime …there should be a statutary limitation on indecent assault somewhere. It isn’t fair on the defendent to expect them to come up with witnesses when everybody dead. Tonya Lee… there was a witness who agreed she was on Rolf’s knee so her story is possible. Some of the other bad character witnesses tell plausible stories. Some of those excluded from evidence tell plausible stories. But a lot of this is just pastures… and it distracts from the real issues. What they should have spent their time doing is discussing when Rolf’s sexual relationship with Bindi’s friend started. Instead we have surreal discussions about gigs no one can prove happened and TV shows the PoPo should have known existed if they’d done any background research.

      • Sadly while you sign your name ‘liberty equality’ that is in fact about the furthest from the truth as to what your name ought to be as you are in fact most decidedly in favour of liberty or equality. However you are very much in favour of 4 oldish people- the principal one who claims she was a raging alcoholic for most of the past 40 years who have each sought large amounts of money off the defendant. No complainant can in all honesty really remember what day or which year their relatively hard to believe allegations related to, so it is pretty hard to have any belief in a fair and proper trial…
        Moreover the sole piece of contemporaneous documentation, the diary of the principal accuser, says how wonderful Rolf Harris was to her by generously paying for her Hawaiian holiday acting as Rolf Harris’s daughter’s companion.
        Pray tell me, how is a man to defend himself when he is not even told what year and where the alleged incident took place and where there is not one single witness or any CCTV?
        Maybe if this allegation happened to your husband or son, you might begin to show a little bit of common sense?

    • Thank you. this appears to have all the evidence used in the trials of the Witches of Salem. In other words none and the only contemporaneous evidence of the principal witness was that Harris did nothing on the Hawaiian holiday. That he and she engaged in a consensual relationship after she was over 18 (2 yrs after the age of consent) I disapprove of such an age gap but it doesn’t mean he should be banged up until he dies.

      Further, rather confirming the falsehood of the allegation she was 14 the Cambridge Council laws are that someone cannot do paid work before the age of 15. This has been the law since about 1926 as I understand. Why did the defence QC not mention this too. The most likely fact is that she was at least 18 when- or if- she ever met Harrison which again significantly has never been proven.

      I wonder if Harris will appeal?

  66. As for his victims, to be clear, I believe them and so did the jury. That’s enough for me. He is guilty, after all.

    • It seems the real victims are Harris, his 84 yr old wife and daughter, but of course Sorority’s comments are all the bitter man hating type…Never heard of the witches of Salem, Sorority?

      And PS please change your name to something a little more real than Liberty Equality Sorority. You don’t show any hint of knowing what they are actually about and your lack of reasoning powers ‘Oh all men are guilty cos 4 of them said things about a rich man in order to relieve him of his hard earned wealth’…I hope the next person charged is your son if you have had one or your (presumably) ex husband. You just sound sadly very very consumed by bitterness and not a charitable or even pleasant thought in your mind…

      • Askew, whoops I mean Asquyth, I mean Asquith (finally got it right). It’s Sororite actually, not Sorority, but let’s not quibble let’s look instead at what and how you ignored what Rolf, the child abuser Harris, did in favour of attempting (pitiful) to have a go. Rolf spat on his fingers and then sexual assaulted children – like OMG, OMG!!!!!!! But let’s not focus on that, Askew, because Rolf, the child abuser Harris, can’t be “othered” he seemed, looked and behaved like a normal bloke (I refrain from comment on that point) and yet beneath the surface, hiding in plain sight, he abused children. It shows, pardon while I choke on bitter bile of feminism, that one can’t tell and that there are no distinguishing marks that sets the abuser apart. They act, look and behave just like your normal everyday bloke. And that is the fault of Sorority/Sororite because bitter women assault children, except they don’t they call out those who do and shine a light under the dark deeds that your everyday, regular bloke does unpalatable as that might be. And that is the sad and unpalatable truth of this sordid tale. Just a normal bloke who felt entitled to assault children. Take it up with your brothers. Yours In Sisterhood.

  67. “Would an eight year old remember if they witnessed a murder, seeing someone get run over, someone spitting on their fingers and then shoving them inside your private parts, yes beyond all reasonable doubt. ”

    I’m not actually sure about this. There are some fairly random things I remember, many things I don’t and some things I remember incorrectly. I think the fact that some things are remembered incorrectly may be relevant here.

    It has to be “beyond all reasonable doubt”.

  68. asquith

    “Moreover the sole piece of contemporaneous documentation, the diary of the principal accuser, says how wonderful Rolf Harris was to her by generously paying for her Hawaiian holiday acting as Rolf Harris’s daughter’s companion.”

    Let’s face it …it could have been innocent that he asked her along… Bindi was an only one ….but … when you combine it with the sleepovers …it does sound like child grooming? I mean why would they have sleepovers …they both lived on the same street! All these things may be innocent but there are so many of them and they are classic grooming tricks. Maybe it was a more innocent time and stuff but even in 1981 I really think if you didn’t think that you were laying yourself open to charges of child grooming you’d have to be thick as ****. Put aside male/female identity politics and think about protecting children from sexual predators and its not very sensible. It’s not often the case that children record abuse in diaries.
    Maybe we should update our propaganda.
    Instead of “Dont accept sweets of strangers”
    “Dont accept holidays off children’s TV stars”

    ” No complainant can in all honesty really remember what day or which year their relatively hard to believe allegations related to”

    Tonya Lee got pretty close (within a week or so)

    A lot of it is nonsense though …
    http://www.pearshapedcomedy.com/Rolf.html
    I mean who’s running Yewtree …Inspector Clouseau?
    Surely we should have hear from more people who know the main accuser on the main charge…?
    Still, it’s got to be better than the 1980s system of never arresting any nonces at all…

    • mraemiller: you don’t really explain at all why the sole piece of contemporaneous evidence fully supports Harris and discredits the principal witness. I would far rather go on something written at the time than someone’s hazy allegations which may or may not have been greatly affected by her alcoholism. I am very surprised the judge didn’t make this and the other clearly questionable evidence his principal point.
      Perhaps the judge is simply a repressed typical public school and Oxbridge and his Inn of Court and snobbily looks down on entertainers, and especially any from Australia who’ve made far more money than the judge will ever make…Convict stock after all, what-oh?!?!
      (Harris’s parents were in fact hard working Welsh folk who moved to Perth for its equable climate and the fact a family member had asthma)

      • It doesnt “fully support” Harris it just doesnt contradict him. The purpose of child grooming is to normalise abnormal perverted behaviour …thus if she was being abused she’d be unlikely to write about it particularly with Harris supposedlyin loco parentis. It was a travel diary not a personal diary. I never kept a personal diary as a kid because I knew my nosey parents couldn’t help themselves but to read it. There’s a reason it takes people decades to talk about abuse. 4 decades might be pushing it but 3… Maybe

  69. Also while Rolf says he was blackmailed he failed to produce any evidence to prove it.
    Conclusion… it’s probably another lie …like the ones he told to cover up his “affair”.
    The real problem of his defence is having told the court he’s untrustworthy …erm…

  70. How strange that children/women who’d never met one another each reported similar patterns of behaviour prior to it being reported in the press. Massive coincidence I suppose, aka, the truth about Rolf Harris. I believe her.

  71. The truth about Rolf Harris? aka, jumping on the bandwagon of media hype for a slice of £11 million. You believe her that’s your privilege, I’m not convinced.

  72. Perhaps it is relevant to make the observation that reports of alien abduction are all rather similar to one another. It does not mean they are true.

    • It’s interesting reading the words of the supporters of sex offenders and rapists attempting to manipulate the truth. They’d want us to believe the perpetrator is a victim. Rolf Harris is no victim. It must be awful for that sort to find there are laws and people dedicated to catching up with perverts and putting them in jail where they belong.

  73. Sadly Ms Liberty ( the things you are definitely not interested in are Liberty Equality and Sorority, because you want to attack an old man on the basis of memories which are 40 yrs old and probably untrue ), you do not know the truth and alcoholic women are much more likely to be strangers to the truth and to have invented their stories or to at least have substantially gilded the lily especially when the incentive is to seek substantial compensation.
    You seem to think you are God because a jury probably got it wrong and has convicted someone whom on the lack of evidence was not there in 2 of the 4 allegations. Now if you were alleged to have committed an offence and there is no evidence you were in the towns for 3 or 4 yrs either sides of the alleged years, most judges would not permit such evidence since it fails to meet the basic test of credibility.
    As the other person said: just because 4 people claim they have seen UFOs out of maybe a million people who have met Rolf Harris over 50 years, does not make it that UFOs exist.
    When they also have a massive financial incentive to suggest they ‘have all seen a UFO’ in our lifetimes doe not make it true.
    I just hope Harris appeals

  74. Sorry but you are entirely wrong about Tonya Lee. She said the incident had happened in the first week of her visit to England on a 4 month touring trip when in fact Harris was not even in the country. Tonya Lee also claimed she had lost 2 stone in weight as a result of the ‘shock of the assault’. The only time Harris was in the country was in the last week of her tour and thus her allegation was 4 months out and her claim to have lost weight because of Harris’s alleged assault was proven to be made up.
    Maybe she was assaulted but it wasn’t by Harris or if it was she didn’t lose any weight because of Harris. Clearly as her boyfriend said ‘She will say anything for money and publicity’
    This was all determined in cross examination by Harris’s barrister…

  75. I think beyond a shadow of a doubt Mr Harris is a groper of women. For this he should be punished, but not to the extent that he has been. The evidence that he assaulted children (which of course would make the whole thing much more serious) is largely circumstantial and has certainly NOT been proved beyond all reasonable doubt. I actually think an appeal would throw that out and see him given a much lesser term in prison. Like Asquith, I too hope there is an appeal.

    • An appeol would only increse his prison term, now that his web downloading preferences are in the public domain it is easier to assume his guilt than before. To pre-empt answers that the girls in the photos were over 18 (but looked like young gilrs with their teddy bears) – the web owners would say that wouldn’t they – otherwise they would be admitting to breaking the law.

      • Emma it wouldn’t matter if they were wearing a romper suit with a dummy in their mouth providing they were over 18. It’s not an offence to look at naked adult women because if it was the male population of the entire country would be in prison. Was the material in question clearly images of children being abused or was it not? If it was then guilty as charged but if not there is no case to answer.

        • Sam. I don’t think Emma knows anything about the law. Apart from her ‘if its a man he’s guilty’ attitudes, it seems impossible to get beyond her obvious bitterness and cynicism to get her to appreciate the facts…
          Even appealing to common sense and a modicum of good nature just gets her ‘I hate all men’ attitudes. I daresay that’s probably why the jury instead of focusing on the actual facts of the case and the clear paucity of the evidence and strange refusal of the judge to question the 4 women’s motives and how groping can lead allegedly to 40 yrs of drug abuse and why there was and is not a single witness when Harris’s alleged gropings all took place in public with in 2 instances their mothers just 2 feet away!

          Its rather like Vanessa Feltz’s allegation that somehow Harris’s hand and arm mysteriously extended themselves mid way through an interview at least 4 feet into her skirt and not one cameraman or a single TV operative saw what she alleges. And all with Harris’s wife allegedly 10 feet away too. Clear fantasy from a constant self publicist…And all while Harris is allegedly being interviewed on breakfast TV on her bed. I think any psychiatrist would say for a man to give a TV interview while allegedly groping someone with cameras on him and her is simply impossible. It is (almost) utterly implausible

          Not only that, as many people have said, no man would ever find someone with Feltz’s looks even vaguely attractive. She looks like an awfully ugly fat man

          • FYI Asquith I don’t hate men – I do hate child abusers both male and female.
            Your personal attacks are childish and emotional – try not to get into a state because it sounds like you have issues with women – I’m not going to speculate but you need to get over it..

          • Emma, you say you hate child abusers and yet are condemning a man who has provided much fun and entertainment to millions. Assuming Rolf Harris has been introduced to and held hundreds of thousands of children, one complainant who thought it was an accident is not proof of anything. You condemn on the basis of not one shred of coentemporaneous evidence and indeed the only contemporaneous evidence is that the girl was having a wonderful time with his family.
            No I don’t have issues with women and yet you condemn on the basis of nothing. That shows a very inhumane and exceedingly cold and bitter person.
            Even appeals to how would you feel if it were your son or father so convicted, elicits nothing but cold unpleasant bitterness.
            Harris was clearly convicted by a jury which had lost all sense of reason and I am frankly amazed any judge could even allow a trial, with not one single piece of reliable evidence and the sole reliable evidence in Harris’s favour, to go to a jury.
            On this evidence every male is now potentially open to false allegations. Even if a judge is handed a signed letter or note from the complainant dated on the date of any alleged sexual offence, that will be ignored and instead more reliability placed upon anyone’s memory of 40 yrs ago, and even an alcohol soddled or drug addled brain.
            I have always taken the view never to have my office door closed if I have a woman alone with me in it and always avoid women who repeatedly try to flirt, since the old adage ‘a woman spurned is a vengeful creature’ is very true. In my experience women have very fertile imaginations and if spurned will often stoop very low indeed if they see potential money to be made from false allegations.
            Morally I find Harris’s affair with the 20-28 yr old a bit shady but she repeatedly continued the affair and she has every bit as much responsibility for the affair as Harris. There are countless examples of women 30 or 40 yrs younger than their husbands. Just visit any luxury hotel or resort and you see them everywhere. It is women’s time-honoured traditional route to making money for the past 10,000 years and it will probably continue to be so for the next 10,000 yrs too sadly. Have you never seen girls flocking around footballers, entertainers or indeed any wealthy men at functions.
            They are everywhere and sadly as a poll of teenagers found, their principal aim/dream/wish in life which teachers find hard to overcome.
            Harris was a top entertainer, rich and good looking and I daresay could have had countless affairs from female admirers if he had so wanted. Basing allegatiosn solely on 40 to 45 yr old memory is so likely to be wrong or unreliable as to be no evidence at all for a ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ requirement.

      • Well said Emma and ignore the one who appears only capable of trotting out abuse to anyone who has an opinion which differs from his.

  76. Is there some significance to a bed being the interview platform in Vanessa Feltz’s programme? What “scene” is it supposedly hinting at? I am not sure I would want to be interviewed on a bed by Feltz.

    Getting back to the debate about whether the trial was just, if the jury consisted of a sample of the correspondents on this forum it could well be that a verdict of guilty was arrived at since a significant number appear to have surety of conviction without referring whatsoever to the available evidence, or lack of it. Fortunately this number appear to be slightly in the minority but the random selection process could have meant the jury could have consisted of such people.

    • Nihil,
      not only were there no witnesses or any evidence placing Harris in either of the 2 locations (in only the Cambridge one was there any evidence and when it was the girl was 17 or 18 and not 14 as claimed. Moreover the law has not allowed 14 yr olds to work for third parties (since 1926 I believe), and anyway as she claimed to be a waitress, that would also be illegal. Not one witness was able to confirm anything.

      Yet despite these amazing glaring inconsistencies, and in spite of the jury asking a series of bizarre questions, it seems that the jury after 2 weeks of obvious substantial indecision, determined that Harris was guilty on all counts.

      Now I understood that to convict someone there has at absolute minimum to be reliable proof (eg fingerprints, CCTV, mobile phone records etc) that the accused was at the location at the time and date alleged. Yet Harris has not even been found to have been at 2 locations and at one location when the girl was 17 or 18, 4 yrs AFTER she claimed he assaulted her…

      An academic study was recently done where 10 juries were empanelled and given clear evidence of guilt, yet in 8 of 10 instances the jury found the accused NOT guilty.

      I simply do not believe that the ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ test has been established and unless some more compelling factors proving Harris’s guilt are disclosed, we have yet another gross miscarriage of justice…

      NB I wouldnt worry about the ‘he’s gulty’ bods. They seem to have the knowledg of Sun tabloid readers

      • You do not need any evidence other than the word of an individual in England and Wales. Whether that should be the law, or whether there should be some form of corroboration as there is in Scotland (and used to be a requirement in England and Wales in sexual cases) is a different matter of course.

        Memory is a difficult area, and one to which the scientific community are just getting to grips with, and the Courts are miles behind. This will need to be addressed at some point.

        My own view from what I know of the scientific literature and my own experience in Court, is that memory is very fallible and, more importantly, the ‘rules of thumb’ that we use to tell whether someone is lying or not is hopelessly inaccurate.

        That cuts both ways and means that truthful witnesses get written off because their reaction is ‘wrong’ and inaccurate witnesses have their evidence accepted wrongly. Not in all cases of course, but there is more of a risk in historic cases.

        • Dan I agree with much of what you say. I recall when I first took a law course at the LSE, a well known Professor arranged a staged fight in the first lecture. He then asked students to say what happened and who attacked who. Even amongst this highly intelligent group something like 45% of students got the whole thing wrong. Juries are very fallible and obviously witnesses who have a financial incentive to exaggerate their memory, will often do so. Given there wasn’t a single witness to the allegations of the 4 women and it is well known people dream about famous people, this may simply be a combination of fantasy and greed…
          As to 40 (or in one instance 45) yr old memory, I think any expert witness would seriously question the alleged events.
          In the sole contemporaneous document, the 14 yr old friend’s diary, she says nothing about her allegations and only talks about what a wonderful time she was having. She didn’t even mention her ‘nice bikini claim’ which strongly suggests her memory is in fact a fiction and all made up.
          While you comment upon the porn videos, and while I do not approve, I think there is a world of difference between some porn star dressing up as a school girl and paedophile.
          If it is not so I would ask the police to monitor the internet and arrest every person who looks at similar porn. That’s probably what 100,000, 200,000 or even 500,000 people

      • “to convict someone there has at absolute minimum to be reliable proof (eg fingerprints, CCTV, mobile phone records etc) that the accused was at the location at the time and date alleged.”

        Other people have said that what a person says constitutes some kind of evidence, however this does not seem to be tenable in a court of law when “beyond all reasonable doubt” level of surety is needed and also in less testing situations according to HItchens’ Razor . There is no other evidence, is there?

        “An academic study was recently done where 10 juries were empanelled and given clear evidence of guilt, yet in 8 of 10 instances the jury found the accused NOT guilty.”

        The criteria “innocent until proven guilty” and “beyond all reasonable doubt” are and should be very compelling. Do you have a reference for this study, please?

        However you can see how, if a jury was composed of a few of the people on this forum who appear not to need evidence, incarceration of innocents would inevitably follow. These people evidently do exist in society and this is, I fear, a disincentive for the use of juries. Actually what emerges from sound argument on a forum such as this is probably better than a jury.

  77. The only people who need worry about the Rolf Harris and Max Clifford verdicts are; rapists, sex offenders and child abusing paedophiles. If you don’t fit this category, sleep easy. If you do… they’re closing in you.

  78. Dan, is it likely that witness is going to wrongly recall someone spitting on their hands and then sexually assaulting them – that’s a very specific memory and how did so many witness recall this same action they didn’t know one another so no colluding.

    The description of looking over at his sleeping daughter while sexually assaulting a child has a chilling ring of truth about it.

    Harris confirmed he had a relationship with his daughter’s friend but not, according to him until she was 18, well he would say that wouldn’t he. This from the man who liked to look at porn picture of underage looking girls.

    I’m curious what bits do you imagine victims imagine due to fallible memory; sexual assault or their age at the time of the assault?

    • That was more a general comment, than about the facts of this case. I don’t think you can say ‘this memory is specific’ or corroborated by many others, so it must be true, and ‘this memory is vague and contradictory, so it must be false’.

      I’ve seen cases where someone is utterly specific about the instance of abuse and it looks certain that they are accurate, but turn out that other evidence shows they must be incorrect. Equally I’ve seen witnesses all over the place – vague and implausible, and in some ways inconsistent, and changing the date of when the alleged abuse happened by years, and yet it transpired that they were correct.

      The point is not limited to historic cases at all, we place a premium on witness evidence in English law, which may be overplaced. As humans, we think that we are very good at remembering things, but we are actually terrible. It’s probably most acute in identification cases.

      A good read is Henderson v New Jersey – https://www.psychology.iastate.edu/~glwells/A808StatevLarryHenderson.pdf – it gives a complete breakdown of many of the problems with identification evidence.

      I was not surprised at all that Mr Harris was convicted for Complainant C (the friend of his daughter) – it looked pretty inevitable to me. It would not have surprised me had he been acquitted of the others. But in both cases, the jury heard all the evidence, so I’m just going on what I read in the papers.

      • With respect abusers and would be abusers use that sort of argument in an attempt to destroy the credibility of witnesses… you can’t possibly remember…, further the celebrity abusers and again their chorus consisting of; would be padeo’s, rapists, sex offenders and your dirty old man sprinkle in words like money and compensation. All of this is their attempting to create a smokescreen and red herring to deflect attention away from what the perpetrator has done.

        I do not accept that four (or however many more they are) victims all invented exactly the same actions by their abuser and that it is mere coincidence. What they allege is too specific to ignore.

        I do understand why victims don’t want to come forward unless their attacker is ‘good enough’ to rape/assault them in front of CCTV and or group of independent witnesses, or cause them significant harm whereby they will get sent down for murder/gbh (see the case of Jane Clough) rather than the sexual assault victims are simply not believed. As most victims are female and the overwhelming majority of perps are male it suits a patriarchal society just fine to let things continue like this.

  79. Rolf Harris verdict …..

    Inappropriate sexual harassment of adult females – Guilty (12 months, suspended)
    Rapist – not guilty
    Paedophile – not proved, therefore not guilty

  80. Sam – there were no witnesses when Stuart Hall abused little girls either. He said the accusations were “pernicious, callous, cruel and, above all, spurious” – where would you have stood had he not pleaded guilty?

  81. Can’t really comment on that one Emma because there was no trial by jury. He admits to being guilty so he is guilty, end of. Harris denied the charges so we had a trial and looked at the “evidence” and for me there just wasn’t enough to convict him. Don’t get me wrong, it’s all about opinions and I fully respect that you are entitled to yours. I think if me and you were both on the jury we’d have had a right old ding dong 🙂

    For the record I also think the Michael Le Vell jury got that one wrong too, I’m not always on the side of the defendant.

  82. The Leigh Park case (referred to as ‘near Portsmouth’ during the trial) is highly suspect, in my opinion. Only recently (14th July, Daily Mirror) was it said that the alleged assault happened at a junior disco. This was NOT reported at the time of the trial (as far as I can ascertain) yet the complainant would have known at that time that she had been at a junior disco (unless she’s getting her story tangled). Why on earth would Rolf’s agent have booked him months in advance (as they would have had to do) to appear at a Saturday morning (as reported in the Sydney Morning Herald) junior disco in a hall at a community centre on a council estate? He was at the peak of his career!

    She said that the assault happened around the time of the moon landing (July 1969), yet Rolf was in Australia for weeks on end before that date and for at least three weeks afterwards, and this has been proven. Ah – well, it must have happened around the time of her eighth birthday instead (October 1969). The complainant stated that Rolf Harris sang ‘Two Little Boys’ – before it was released. She said that he had ‘big hairy hands’, yet photos taken of him around that time show his hands to be anything but hairy. He supposedly assaulted her in front of a crowd of people (where he would have been the focus of attention) forcefully, twice, with an autographing pen in one hand, we are to assume.

    As the children at the junior disco had autograph books with them, according to the complainant’s account, it would have been known in advance that Rolf Harris was appearing. There would have been crowds outside the community hall to see the famous Rolf Harris who was on the telly. The police would have been there to keep order. The local press would have been there. But there was nothing in the papers. The police checked six or seven years’ worth of them. Not a word. They checked the community hall’s records and the council’s records as well (the council was responsible for hiring out the hall). There was nothing.

    Now, supposing that Rolf Harris’s agent HAD booked him to appear at a Saturday morning junior disco at a community hall on a council estate in Havant (a hall that holds only 150 people), the tickets would have been very expensive indeed if the hall were to recovers its costs, let alone make a profit. Rolf Harris was a world-famous entertainer, and his fee would have reflected this! The vast majority of people on this estate, which back in 1969 was plagued with serious social problems (I know because I read the copies of The News, Portsmouth covering that period), would not have been able to afford them – let alone for two, three or four children!

    Two witnesses came forward (probably as a result of the leaflet drop asking residents if they remembered any celebrities visiting the area around that time) to say that they remembered Rolf Harris being ‘in the area’ – but ‘the area’ is not the Leigh Park Community Centre. He supposedly visited the area around the same time as Sid James and Diana Dors – who WERE there – but Sid James and Diana Dors visited the area around TEN YEARS apart. Moreover, these visits were not in 1969, but around the mid-Sixties and the mid-Seventies respectively.

    Despite all the publicity, no-one has approached any newspaper offering to sell their photo of Rolf Harris at the Leigh Park junior disco, a photo that would undoubtedly net them a princely sum. The glaring anomalies associated with this particular charge are a gift to any investigative journalist – yet, strangely, no-one seems to want to touch it.

  83. Here’s proof that Rolf Harris was in Australia at the time of the July 1969 moon landing:
    “Sydney Morning Herald, July 25, 1969: Rolf Harris arrived in Sydney yesterday after six weeks discovering the outback”
    https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1301&dat=19690725&id=1fxjAAAAIBAJ&sjid=0-YDAAAAIBAJ&pg=2849,8493699&hl=en
    The moon landing is an event anyone might “remember” from 1969 and, failing that, a birthday is guaranteed to happen every year. I agree with Marion that the Portsmouth claim seems highly suspect.

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