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Rolf Harris trial told of daughter's fury over abuse claims

By Ellen Branagh

Rolf Harris's daughter was so "beside herself" when she found out her father was accused of sexually abusing her friend that she furiously banged her head against a wall, a court has heard.

The entertainer's daughter Bindi accused Harris over the phone of sexually molesting her friend and was so furious that she "smashed up" paintings he had given to her, Southwark Crown Court in London heard.

Harris denies 12 counts of indecent assault between 1968 and 1986, seven of which relate to his daughter's friend.

She claims he first assaulted her when she was 13 while on holiday, but he has told the court they had a consensual sexual relationship that did not start until she was 18.

On his third day in the witness box, the 84-year-old was questioned about his daughter's furious reaction when she heard about the allegations, which he said came while he was overseas.

Prosecutor Sasha Wass QC asked the star: "Bindi was beside herself?"

He replied: "I suppose so, yes."

Ms Wass said: "(The alleged victim) had told her and she accused you of sexually abusing (the alleged victim), didn't she?"

Harris said: "Not person to person, not face to face."

But when Ms Wass asked if his daughter accused him over the phone, he said: "Yes."

Ms Wass said: "She accused you over the phone of sexually molesting (the alleged victim), didn't she?"

Harris replied: "Yes."

Ms Wass said: "She (Bindi) was in such a state she was banging her head against a wall." She asked Harris if that had "filtered through" to him.

"She was beside herself with shock wasn't she?" the prosecutor said.

Harris replied: "Yes."

The prosecutor asked if he knew whether Bindi needed counselling at some stage, but he said: "I wasn't aware of that."

Lonneke Broadribb (49), a friend of Bindi, told the court that they had been friends at primary school, continuing into their teens.

She said she got to know Bindi, who was a year older than her, when she was about 10 and would often go over to the Harris home, especially in the summer, as they had a swimming pool.

Miss Broadribb told the court she never had any concerns about Mr Harris, and he never behaved inappropriately towards her.

The trial continues today.

Belfast Telegraph


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