TV star Rolf Harris jailed for five years over sex assaults



LONDON: Veteran entertainer Rolf Harris, a household name in Britain and Australia for decades, was jailed Friday for five years and nine months for a string of sexual assaults against girls.

The Australian-born television star, artist and songwriter, 84, was found guilty earlier this week of indecently assaulting four victims between 1969 and 1986, including the childhood best friend of his daughter Bindi.

“You have shown no remorse for your crimes at all,” judge Nigel Sweeney told Harris as he handed down his sentence at London´s Southwark Crown Court.

“Your reputation lies in ruins, you have been stripped of your honours, but you have no one to blame but yourself.

“Harris was the second person to be convicted under a wide-ranging police investigation set up in the wake of revelations that Jimmy Savile, a fellow major BBC star, was a prolific abuser.

Wearing a multicoloured tie, grey suit and white shirt, Harris showed no emotion as he heard the sentence, even if the judge said he should only serve half of it in jail.

Earlier, the court heard statements from some of the entertainer´s victims, including his daughter´s friend, who suffered from years of abuse.

“The attacks that happened have made me feel dirty, grubby and disgusting. The whole sordid saga has traumatised me,” she said in the statement read out by a lawyer.

Another written by a woman who was only eight when Harris molested her as she sought his autograph in 1969 said that in those few moments, her “childhood innocence was gone”.

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