Rolf Harris Trial: No Possible Defence As The Only Evidence Is The Claims Of The Accusers
'Rolf Harris jailed for five years and nine months' BBC News UK, 4/7/2014

Disgraced entertainer Rolf Harris has been jailed for nearly six years for 12 indecent assaults against four girls — including one aged just seven or eight.

Mr Justice Sweeney said Harris, 84, had taken advantage of his celebrity status and had shown "no remorse".

The sentence of five years and nine months has already been referred to the Attorney General's Office under the "unduly lenient sentence scheme". One victim said the abuse had taken away her "childhood innocence".

Harris, who was found guilty of offences that took place between 1968 and 1986, was told by the judge he had "no-one to blame but himself".

He displayed no emotion and stared straight ahead as he was jailed. Before Harris was sentenced, prosecutors said he would not stand trial over allegations he had downloaded sexual images of children. They had claimed Harris had indecent images of children, as part of a larger collection of adult pornography, but decided it was not in the public interest to prosecute him.

During sentencing, the judge said Harris "clearly got a thrill" from committing some of the assaults on his four victims while "others were present or nearby". He said Harris touched the youngest victim intimately when she approached him for an autograph in Portsmouth, while another was "groped" at an event in Cambridge. As well as the girl who was aged seven or eight, Harris's victims were two young teenagers and a childhood friend of his daughter Bindi. He abused his daughter's friend between the ages of 13 and 19.

The judge said Harris "fancied" this victim and assaulted her in her home and his, breaching the "trust that her parents had placed in you". He said the assaults resulted in the teenager suffering panic attacks, anxiety and led to her becoming an alcoholic, saying she had "suffered severe psychological harm".

Speaking after sentencing, she said the jail term was "immaterial" but the verdict was

"what I wanted, what I went to court for". She added: "I do hope that women will come forward now, celebrity or not."

The sentences broken down are:

Some of the sentences will be served at the same time, making a total of five years and nine months. Harris is likely to serve half of the sentence in prison and was told he would not have to pay compensation to his victims. However, the judge said he could have to pay the costs of the prosecution.

A spokeswoman for the Attorney General's Office did not say who had referred the sentence as being "unduly lenient" but said it "only takes one person to trigger the process". The sentence must be considered within 28 days for possible referral to the Court of Appeal, the spokeswoman added.

Harris was prosecuted based on the law at the time of his offences, when the maximum sentence for indecent assault was two years in prison, or five years for victims under 13. Two of his victims were in court for the sentencing, which saw members of the press and public fill the public gallery and watch from an overspill court via a video feed.

Harris's daughter Bindi was with him in court but his wife Alwen, who has been consistently present throughout the trial, did not attend.