Rolf Harris faces retrial on three sex offence charges

Rolf Harris. Picture: Metropolitan Police handout
Rolf Harris. Picture: Metropolitan Police handout
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TV entertainer Rolf Harris showed no emotion as he was told he would face a retrial over allegations he indecently assaulted three girls.

The veteran entertainer was accused of abusing his latest victims as far back as 1971.

The 86-year-old, who is currently serving five years and nine months in jail, was accused of indecently touching the women and girls.

He showed no emotion as he appeared in court on Wednesday via videolink.

Last week he was found not guilty on three charges of indecent assault and the jury failed to reach verdicts on the remaining four charges.

But the former TV star will now face four charges of indecent assault against three alleged victims, with one new count added.

Harris appeared at Southwark Crown Court via video link from HMP Stafford.

He spoke only to confirm his name and to enter a not guilty plea to the extra charge on the indictment.

Julia Walker prosecuting said: “The prosecution seek a retrial for count one in 1971, count four in 1978 and count five in 1983.

“The Crown will not proceed with count six which is an allegation made at a recording studio this application will be dealt with at the end of the trail.

“The allegation in the back of a taxi that in which he is said to have put his hand up the skirt will be proceeded with and in addition a count in which he touched her breast will be added.

“On reflection it would be in the interest of justice to proceed in this way to adequately reflect the allegation.”

The court also heard Harris’ legal team would appeal his original conviction in 2014.

Stephen Vello, defending Harris, said: “We intend to appeal the first trial in the next day or two and intend theses issues to be dealt with by the court of appeal before the second trial.

“It is significantly out of time but there are reasons for that which are made clear in the documents.”

In July 2014, Harris was convicted of 12 offences of indecent assault on four female victims. He is currently serving a sentence of five years and nine months but continues to maintain his innocence.

Harris is due to be released from his current jail term on 19 July this year.

Judge Alistair McCreath remanded Harris, who may appear via video link again for his second trial, in custody.

Speaking afterwards, a Crown Prosecution Service spokesman said: “After careful consideration, we have decided to seek a retrial of Rolf Harris in relation to the charges of non-recent indecent assault on which the jury were unable to agree in respect of three of the complainants. A new, fourth count of indecent assault has also been added.

“This decision was taken after consideration of all the matters set out in our legal guidance on seeking re-trials when a jury has failed to agree on a verdict.

“The Crown Prosecution Service reminds all concerned that criminal proceedings against Rolf Harris remain active and that he has a right to a fair trial. It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings.”

The trial, expected to last ten days, is due to start on 15 May.

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