Veteran entertainer Rolf Harris is expected to give evidence today as the defence begins in his indecent assault trial.

The 84-year-old artist, a former Sydenham resident, faces 12 counts of indecent assault on four alleged victims between 1968 and 1986, all of which he denies.

London's Southwark Crown Court has heard claims Harris was a ''Jekyll and Hyde'' character whose fame allowed him to carry out a string of alleged attacks on under-age girls.

P rosecutor Sasha Wass QC said Harris was ''an immensely talented man'' but his fame and reputation meant he was able to carry out ''brazen'' sexual assaults, often when other people were present or nearby.

The court has heard that Harris allegedly carried out a number of indecent assaults on a teenage friend of his daughter, starting when she was 13 - seven of the 12 counts relate to this woman.

Another charge relates to a woman who claims Harris groped her when she was seven or eight as she went to get his autograph at a community centre in Portsmouth, in 1969, while another all eged victim claims she was groped by Harris when working as a waitress at an event in Cambridge when she was 14 in 1975.

Three of the charges relate to Tonya Lee, now 43, who claims she was groped by Harris when she was 15.

Ms Lee, who has waived the usual right to anonymity given to alleged sex offence victims, claims Harris touched her when she travelled to Britain from Australia for a tour, in 1986.