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I'm after justice not compensation, insists alleged victim of Rolf Harris

By Jemma Crew

One of Rolf Harris's alleged victims said she is speaking out for "vindication and justice" as the entertainer sat in court for the first day since his trial began.

Harris (87) is accused of inappropriately touching the then 13-year-old schoolgirl after he appeared in a broadcast of the BBC's Saturday Superstore in 1983. He also allegedly asked the young teenager if she often got molested on a Saturday morning, which his defence team claimed had been said in a jokey way.

It is the first time the jury has seen the Australian former television star in person for his indecent assault trial at Southwark Crown Court. He was released from HMP Stafford on Friday morning.

The complainant, who gave evidence via video-link as Harris followed with a hearing loop, was quizzed on her motives for coming forward 30 years after the alleged incident.

Asked by prosecutor Jonathan Rees if she had made a claim for compensation, she said: "No I haven't, and I don't intend to. This has never been about compensation, it's been about vindication and justice."

She added that coming forward had been "the hardest thing I have ever had to do".

Of the past few decades, she said: "It's been an awful experience and certainly not something I would do for any kind of fun or any other reason.

"All I want is entirely vindication and justice for the people these things happened to over the years."

Harris denies four charges against three women between 1971 and 1983.

His niece Jenny looked on as the entertainer, who previously appeared via video-link, sat in the dock wearing a dark suit and patterned tie.

The court heard the alleged victim made her official complaint in July 2014, the same day the Daily Star website ran a piece with the headline: 'Victims of Rolf Harris to receive £200,000 in compensation.'

The woman said she had not been aware of the headline as she was "not really a Daily Star reader".

She added that she had been aware of people claiming compensation, but didn't know about the exact sums of money.

The alleged victim's husband told the court that compensation had never been a goal for his wife.

The trial continues.

Belfast Telegraph


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