Girl’s father ‘confronted Rolf Harris after he slid his hand up her skirt at a music festival when she was 14’
- Woman claims Harris molested her at Lyceum Theatre in the 1970s
- She only reported him after hearing he’d been convicted of sexual offences over 40 years later
- Harris allegedly assaulted three girls, aged 13 to 16, during sex attacks at the West End theatre during filming for ITV’s Star Games and in the green room of the BBC show Saturday Superstore.
Rolf Harris (above, court sketch) pulled a 14-year-old girl onto his lap after posing for a photo together and slipped his hand up her dress at the Lyceum on July 10, 1971, Southwark Crown Court heard
The father of one of Rolf Harris’s alleged sex assault victims gave the entertainer ‘a mouthful’ after he slid his hand up her skirt at a music festival, a court heard.
The woman claims Harris molested her at the Lyceum Theatre in the 1970s – but she only reported him after hearing he had been convicted of sexual offences over 40 years later.
Harris, 87, was driven by an ‘appetite for touching young females’ when he groped fans as young as 13 in a string of sexual assaults committed at events between 1971 and 1983, it is claimed.
The musician allegedly assaulted three young girls, aged between 13 and 16, during sex attacks at the West End theatre during filming for ITV’s Star Games and in the green room of the BBC show Saturday Superstore.
Southwark Crown Court heard the Animal Hospital host pulled a 14-year-old girl onto his lap after posing for a photo together and slipped his hand up her dress at the Lyceum on July 10, 1971.
She told jurors she never wanted to see Harris on television again following the ‘terrible’ assault.
Today the court heard recordings of two calls she made to the NSPCC on July 3, 2014.
‘I’m just calling about something that happened to me when I was younger, by someone who has just been convicted actually,’ she told the first call handler.
‘When I was 14, I was at the music festival in London and the guest appearance was by Rolf Harris – I don’t think I need to say any more.
‘It has all come to a head this week. I have got witnesses, photos, everything.’
Stephen Vullo, QC, defending, told the court the Harris been convicted just days before following a trial at the same court beginning in May that year.
The musician (pictured outside Buckingham Palace during the Diamond Jubilee Concert in 2012) allegedly assaulted three young girls, aged between 13 and 16, during sex attacks at the West End theatre during filming for ITV’s Star Games and in the green room of the BBC show Saturday Superstore
‘Mr Harris had a trial in this court, I am going to call it trial one,’ he said.
‘It started in May 2014 and he was convicted on June 30, 2014.’
He said to the woman: ‘So when you were telling the call handler he had been convicted, that was because you had seen it in newspapers or seen it on the television?’
The alleged victim replied: ‘I must have seen it somewhere. There were newspapers everywhere.’
Mr Vullo continued: ‘Mr Harris was due to be sentenced on July 4 – the very next day. You were aware of that being the case from the media?’
The woman said she could not remember the dates.
‘Were you conscious that you had to get your claim – as it were – in before the case finished?’ Mr Vullo then asked.
The woman refuted the suggestion and denied being ‘in a bit of a rush’ to make her allegations.
‘Did you think that because of his conviction it was going to be as easy as that?’ asked Mr Vullo.
He suggested the woman may not have realised ‘how much scrutiny her accusations would be put under.’
The complainant told the court: ‘I didn’t follow the case, but you could see it in petrol stations, supermarkets – it was there all the time.’
In a second call that same day, she went on to tell a different operative that the alleged assault was ‘something that has been on my mind for absolutely years and years’.
‘It’s just for years I have said to people, and when it all kicked off, obviously starting with Jimmy Saville, I have thought for years who’s next, you know.’
The woman said she had told colleagues and her bosses: ‘I’ll tell you who’ll be next.’
The woman told jurors that she never wanted to see Harris (pictured at his home in Berkshire) on television again following the ‘terrible’ assault
She went on to tell the court how Harris ‘literally picked me out’.
‘He singled me out,’ she added. ‘When it happened I ran to my mum and dad. My dad actually went and gave him what for – my dad went and gave Rolf Harris a mouthful.’
Later, Mr Vullo asked if in the days before her call to the NSPCC she had read that people ‘were in line to take part of his £11million fortune?’
She denied this, and he again pointed out she only came forward after he had been convicted, asking: ‘Is that because you saw the potential of a compensation bandwagon going by and thought you would jump on it?’
She replied: ‘No, not at all.’
Mr Vullo had earlier accused the woman of ‘airbrushing’ her brother, who jurors heard had also been present, out of her earlier accounts to the NSPCC and police because he could ‘prove [her] story to be false’.
Jurors heard the woman previously gave evidence in January of this year but no mention had been made of her brother until he was referred to by the prosecution during the trial.
‘You know, don’t you, that he spoke to a private investigator employed by Mr Harris, don’t you?’ asked Mr Vullo.
The woman confirmed she was aware and jurors heard that meeting took place ‘on September 17 at around 5pm in 2016’.
‘Did you ever discuss with him whether he could assist you in the account that you now make?’ he asked, to which the woman replied ‘no’.
‘You know, don’t you, that [your brother] is not willing to assist the police, is he?’
The alleged victim confirmed that was ‘his choice’.
Jurors were also told a male friend of the complainant called the NSPCC on 20 May 2014, to make his own complaint.
Mr Vullo asked whether she alerted him to the fact that she had ‘documentary and photographic evidence’ to show she had been in the star’s company.
‘I can’t remember that,’ she replied, adding: ‘I may have done.’
The barrister continued: ‘Is it true that [he] had absolutely no details about what you were going to say Mr Harris had done to you?’
Jurors were told she had ‘explained what had happened’ as early as 2001 or 2002.
But Mr Vullo suggested that ‘by 20 May, 2014, he had no idea of any of the details and he had to come back to you afterwards to ask you’.
The woman denied the two were in an ‘intimate relationship’ at the time they made their respective complaints, describing him to the court as ‘my best friend’.
Prosecutor Jonathan Rees, QC, asked the woman if she was ‘doing it for the money’, adding: ‘Have you provided [your friend] details of what you say is the assault on you so he could lie on your behalf?’
He continued: ‘You know that the heart of the prosecution case is the suggestion that you jumped on what was termed a ‘compensation bandwagon’?
‘Did you have any thoughts of compensation in your mind when you first complained to [him] about what Mr Harris had done to you?’
The woman told jurors she had raised the allegation ‘for my own satisfaction’ and ‘peace of mind’.
‘What sort of courage did you have to muster to make that complaint?’ asked Mr Rees.
The alleged victim described herself as ‘not a confident or strong person’, adding: ‘It took a lot of courage. I was frightened.’
Harris, awarded a CBE in 2006, also sexually assaulted a 16-year-old schoolgirl following an appearance at TV show Star Games in Cambridge between May and July 1978, it is said.
The presenter is further alleged to have groped a 13-year-old girl who had been invited to join youngsters in the audience of BBC show Saturday Superstore on New Year’s Eve 1983.
Harris, who was commissioned to paint The Queen’s portrait for her 80th birthday, was seen in court wearing a grey suit over a white shirt and navy tie via video link.
Harris, formerly of Maidenhead, Berkshire, denies four counts of indecent assault.
The trial continues.