| 12.4°C Belfast

Rolf Harris 'assaulted girl standing inches away from her mother'


Court artist sketch of Rolf Harris (right) appearing by video link at Southwark Crown Court

Court artist sketch of Rolf Harris (right) appearing by video link at Southwark Crown Court

Court artist sketch of Rolf Harris (right) appearing by video link at Southwark Crown Court

Rolf Harris put his hand up the skirt of a 12-year-old girl as she stood inches away from her mother, before giving the child an autograph, a court has heard.

The woman, the youngest of the alleged victims in a second raft of indecent assault charges the entertainer faces, told his trial he touched her "where no-one had touched me before, not even myself".

Giving evidence about the incident which she said happened in Portsmouth in 1977 when she went with her mother to get the Australian celebrity's autograph, the woman, who described herself as "completely unworldly" at that time, said: "It just felt horrible, it just felt wrong."

Harris is alleged to have said "let me give you a little cuddle" before assaulting the young girl as her mother stood less than a foot away.

The woman, who appeared via video-link at London's Southwark Crown Court, said she had initially been reluctant to tell anyone else about what happened after claiming her mother dismissed her account of the incident, which she said lasted seconds before she pulled away from the star.

She told the jury: "She (my mother) said something like 'Don't be so stupid'".

She added: "I felt like if my mum didn't believe me then who will believe me?"

Harris is accused of assaulting seven girls and women in a series of "brazen" attacks spanning 30 years, the most recent in 2004.

Harris, who is serving a sentence at Stafford Prison for a series of offences of indecent assault carried out on four female victims, is appearing by video-link.

The 86-year-old has pleaded not guilty to the seven fresh counts of indecent assault and one alternative charge of sexual assault.

Harris had remarked: "Are you the only two here?" when he met the victim and her mother outside after he appeared on a show on Radio Victory in the city, the woman said.

Defending, Stephen Vullo QC suggested such a small crowd would have been unusual because "in 1977/78 Mr Harris was a fairly big star, wasn't he?"

He suggested the year the woman had written in her autograph book was incorrect, saying: "I can't agree with you that he was there (at Radio Victory) in 1977."

The woman, who, the court heard, said she had been abused by a family friend in her childhood and not believed by her mother, rejected a suggestion that she had come forward to seek the "support and attention" she did not get in relation to that incident.

Mr Vullo said: "Can I just put to you that the allegation you make against Mr Harris is not true?"

She replied: "I say it is true."

She called the NSPCC after Harris was convicted in 2014.

The trial was adjourned until 10am on Monday.

Daily Headlines & Evening Telegraph Newsletter

Receive today's headlines directly to your inbox every morning and evening, with our free daily newsletter.

This field is required

Top Videos