Sydenham's Rolf Harris guilty of 12 counts of indecent assault

Rolf Harris in footage from the ITV programme, Star Games, filmed in 1978 in Cambridge which was shown to a jury

Sydenham's Rolf Harris guilty of indecent assault

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Veteran entertainer Rolf Harris saw his decades in the spotlight end in disgrace today as he was found guilty of indecent assault.

The 84-year-old, once a much-loved artist and musician, was convicted at Southwark Crown Court of 12 sex charges involving four women.

Harris lived in Sydenham during the 1960s and 1970s when some of the crimes took place. He was also an early member of the Sydenham Society when he lived in Border Road.

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His army of supporters, including suited security guards and representatives from PR giant Bell Pottinger who attended every day of the trial, could do nothing to change the verdict of the jury of six men and six women.

Once seen by a UK audience as a national treasure, Harris had enjoyed years of success, netting him a multi-million pound fortune and the chance to paint the Queen.

But the downfall of an entertainer who was part of millions of British childhoods came today, as Harris became the biggest scalp claimed by detectives from high profile sex crime investigation Operation Yewtree.

Dozens more alleged victims have come forward during the trial, including several in Australia, and Scotland Yard has been in touch with their counterparts in the Australian police, but it is not yet clear whether they are pursuing any investigation in Harris's home country.

The NSPCC said it has received 28 calls relating to Harris to date, involving 13 people who claim they fell prey to the performer.

Harris remained impassive as the forewoman delivered the unanimous verdicts.

His daughter Bindi held hands with a fellow supporter, and wife Alwen and niece Jenny also watched from the public gallery as his fate was sealed.

Speaking outside Southwark Crown Court today, DCI Michael Orchard, said: "Rolf Harris has habitually denied any wrong doing forcing his victims to recount their ordeal in public.

"He committed many offences in plain sight of people as he thought his celebrity status placed him above the law.

"I want to thank the women who came forward for their bravery, I hope today's guilty verdict will give them closure and help them to begin to move on with their lives.

"Today's case and verdict once again shows that we will always listen to, and investigate allegations regardless of the time frame or those involved."

Did you know Rolf when he was in Sydenham? Contact the newsdesk on 01689 885732 or email strotter@london.newsquest.co.uk

Comments (2)

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6:55am Tue 1 Jul 14

RVD420 says...

I'm getting the word nonce
I'm getting the word nonce RVD420
  • Score: -2

10:09am Tue 1 Jul 14

bnorther says...

Sydenham's?

He lives in Bray, Near Reading and is From Australia orginally.

Why is this story in this local paper?
Sydenham's? He lives in Bray, Near Reading and is From Australia orginally. Why is this story in this local paper? bnorther
  • Score: 7

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