UK kids' TV star Rolf Harris jailed for child abuse
By Costas Pitas
Jul 4, 2014
(Reuters) - Veteran entertainer Rolf Harris, a household name in his native Australia
and adopted home Britain, was jailed for almost six years on Friday for
repeatedly abusing young girls during decades as a beloved host of
Handing down the sentence,
Judge Nigel Sweeney said the 84-year-old host of shows like "Rolf Harris
Cartoon Time" had shown no remorse for the harm he had done to his
Harris was found guilty
earlier this week of 12 counts of assaulting four girls, some as young
as seven or eight, between 1968 and 1986.
was the second conviction in a long-running investigation into sex
abuse by British celebrities that has led to soul searching in the
country, revealing that some of its most prominent stars of the 1970s
and 1980s were serial pedophiles who evaded detection for decades.
is clear from the evidence that what you did has had a significant
adverse effect on each victim," the judge told Harris, detailing how one
woman had battled with alcoholism as a direct result of his abuse.
"You have shown no remorse for your crimes at all."
artist and musician who first earned fame in the 1950s with the top 10
hit novelty song "Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport", Harris went on to
present prime-time TV shows mostly aimed at children during five decades
at the pinnacle of show business. In 2005 he painted Queen Elizabeth's
Harris was the biggest
name to go on trial since British police launched "Operation Yewtree" to
investigate celebrity child abuse, following revelations that late BBC
TV host Jimmy Savile had been a prolific child abuser.
sat motionless as the judge read out the sentence at a packed courtroom
at London's Southwark Crown Court. He was later led from the dock,
wearing a grey suit, white shirt and multi-colored tie.
the trial, the prosecution had portrayed the bearded, bespectacled
entertainer as a predator who groomed and abused one woman for her
entire teenage and young-adult life.
London court was told he first assaulted the woman when she got out of
the shower aged 13, and then repeatedly abused her until she was 28
Operation Yewtree in the wake of the disclosures that Savile, who died
in 2011 at 84, had managed to escape detection while abusing hundreds of
children over the course of decades as one of Britain's best known
celebrities, using his fame to gain access to victims and deflect
Since then, a dozen
ageing British media luminaries have been the target of investigations
over decades-old child abuse allegations.
country's most well known publicist, Max Clifford, was found guilty in
May of indecently assaulting teenage girls some 30 years ago as part of
(Writing by Kate Holton; Editing by Peter Graff)