Rolf Harris Jailed For Five Years, Nine Months

Details of his abuses emerge, he will not be tried for looking at child pornography…


by Sophie Wilkinson |
Published on

After a trial following an Operation Yewtree investigation, paedophile Rolf Harris has been sentenced to five years and nine months in prison after being found guilty on all 12 counts of indecent assault. The judge, delivering the sentence at Southwark crown court, noted that the sentence would have been longer if he had been charged under incidents that would be considered crimes today.

As it stands, the 84-year-old was tried under the laws from when the incidents – mostly occurring between 1969 to 1986 – took place. Plus, one of the incidents where he acted inappropriately towards his daughter Bindi’s best friend – known in the case as 'C' – happened in Hawaii. Even though the judge said: ‘I have no doubt you fancied "C" – even at that young age,' Harris could not be charged for this as it only became an offence to commit sexual assault on a minor outside of the UK in 1997. As well as touching the vaginas of girls as young as eight, offences committed and detailed in the sentencing notes as reported by Court News UK (the actual court’s link to the PDF of the notes can’t be loaded, presumably because so many people are looking at it), include Harris performing a sex act on ‘C’, then 15, while Bindi slept in the same room.

The trial judge said: ‘I have no doubt… that it was your crimes against her that resulted in her becoming an alcoholic for many years with all that entailed, and that thus… you caused her severe psychological harm.’

The other victims’ testimonies were repeated back to Harris – who took a boat from his home in Berkshire to court this morning to avoid paparazzi. According to Mr Justice Sweeney, he showed ‘no remorse’ for his actions.

One woman’s statement read: ‘He treated me like a toy that he played with for his own pleasure with absolutely no regard for what he was inflicting and then getting on with his life as if nothing happened…’

Another woman’s testimony was creepily similar, saying what he did to her was ‘something that he did to me for fun that caused me physical and mental pain for his own pleasure and then probably forgot about as quickly as he did it' and added that has had a 'catastrophic affect on me'.

Another creepy addition to this grotesque story is that the public fascination with the Harris case has led to people trying to buy up his artworks as quickly as possible. Though his artworks have plummeted in value – and galleries and royal officials are unable to vouch for the whereabouts of his 2005 portrait of the Queen – people are keen to snap up his work in case it increases in value again in a few years time.


Nigel Robertson, who runs Bluestone Art in Lincoln, said: ‘Since Rolf Harris was charged, there have been several calls to the gallery from collectors looking to pick up his art.’

It’s not just his gallery. ‘I have heard the same story from other galleries across the country’, he told The Huffington Post.

Nigel says he won’t be selling the stock, but instead destroying it: ‘I think they will be destroyed. We have five pieces left. It’s our stock, so it’s a loss to us. It's a very sad situation. A lot of artists do lead wild lives – drugs, sex and rock and roll. But socially there’s a line that can’t be crossed and I think Rolf Harris has crossed that line.’

Whether people are buying his work just because it’s cheap and hoping the price will rise, or now more appreciative of his art, it’s pretty horrific.

Harris is expected to serve three years of his sentence. Though there are allegations that he accessed child porn sites with names such as 'My little nieces' and 'Tiny teen girlfriends', he will be not charged under counts of accessing indecent images, reports The Independent**.

** Follow Sophie on Twitter @sophwilkinson**

Picture: Getty

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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