Rolf Harris Jailed For Five Years And Nine Months For Sex Assaults
Australian-born, British-based entertainer and musician Rolf Harris has been jailed for a total of five years and nine months for indecently assaulting four girls and young women - including one who was aged just 7 or 8.
The disgraced 84-year-old star was convicted of 12 counts of indecent assault at London's Southwark Crown Court on Monday June 30 and sentenced earlier today. Harris’ crimes took place between 1968 and 1986 with the ages of his victims ranging from 7 or 8-years-old to 19.
During the high-profile 8-week trial, jurors heard how Harris used his "status and position" to abuse his victims with impunity and that the former television presenter had a “dark side” to his personality and was a “Jekyll and Hyde character.”
The central allegation concerned Harris's daughter's friend, whom the court heard he had groomed and molested from the age of 13 until she was 19.
At today’s sentencing, the judge, Mr Justice Sweeney, told Harris: “You showed no remorse. You took advantage of the trust placed in you through celebrity status... Your reputation lies in ruins [and] you have nobody to blame but yourself."
The judge added that the age gap between Harris and each of his victims had been "a very considerable one" and that he "clearly got a thrill from committing some of these offences".
Harris will serve half the total jail sentence with some of the individual sentences to be served consecutively and others concurrently.
Prosecutors have said that Harris will not stand trial over allegations that he downloaded sexual images of children.
Following his conviction, Harris has been stripped of his Bafta Fellowship, lost an honorary degree from the University of East London and also faces losing his CBE.
The once popular entertainer and musician was a mainstay on British TV screens for over 50 years and was best known for presenting a series of children’s and art-based shows.
In addition to his television work, Harris enjoyed a string of U.K. chart hits including "Two Little Boys" (Columbia), which has the distinction of being the very last No. 1 in Britain in the 1960s.
“Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport” reached No. 9 in Britain back in 1960, and he had a No. 3 hit with “Sun Arise” in 1962. He enjoyed another U.K. Top 10 hit in 1993, when his cover of “Stairway to Heaven,” a spin-off from the Australian TV show “Money or the Gun,” reached No. 7.
More recently, Harris played a prominent part at the 2012 Diamond Jubilee concert outside Buckingham Palace, where he sang "Two Little Boys." The shamed star has also performed at Glastonbury Festival several times during his feted career, most recently in 2010 when he opened the event.