well boo fucking hoo

‘My wife is in ill health and we simply want to spend our remaining time together’: Rolf Harris, 87, speaks of ‘relief’ after jury fails to reach verdict on historical indecent assault charges against three girls

  • Disgraced presenter and musician, 87, denied four counts of indecent assault  
  • Charges related to three teens who alleged he molested them in 1970s and 80s 
  • Jury discharged after failing to reach verdicts after five hours of deliberations
  • Harris failed in a bid to stay at home during his trial to be with his ailing wife, 85

Rolf Harris leaves Southwark Crown Court today after being discharged from the dock

Rolf Harris said he is relieved and wants to spend the remainder of his time with his ill wife following today’s announcement from the Crown Prosecution Service that he will not face a third trial for assault allegations.

The former entertainer and musician said he felt ‘no sense of victory, only relief’ but said he wanted to spend his remaining time with his loyal wife Alwen, 85, who has been unwell.

The second jury trying the shamed TV star on claims he molested the three young fans in the 1970s and 1980s were discharged after failing to reach verdicts after less than five hours of deliberations.

In a statement read outside court by his lawyer Daniel Berke, Harris said: ‘Whilst I am pleased that this is finally over, I feel no sense of victory – just relief.

‘I am 87 years old, my wife is in ill health and we simply want to spend our remaining time together.’

Harris also thanked his legal team in the statement and the ‘beautiful friends and family’ who supported him.

He was discharged from the dock and there was a shout of ‘Well done Rolf’ as the entertainer walked out of court.

Meanwhile it was also revealed this afternoon that Harris failed in a bid to stay at home during his trial to be with his ailing wife Alwen, 85.

Harris leaves the court after prosecutors said that they will not seek a second retrial after the jury was discharged when it failed to reach verdicts on four indecent assault charges

Harris leaves the court after prosecutors said that they will not seek a second retrial after the jury was discharged when it failed to reach verdicts on four indecent assault charges

Harris, pictured today outside court, had been accused of indecently assaulting three girls

Harris, pictured today outside court, had been accused of indecently assaulting three girls

In happier times: Pictured above the disgraced former presenter Rolf Harris and his wife Alwen

In happier times: Pictured above the disgraced former presenter Rolf Harris and his wife Alwen

Jurors at London's Southwark Crown Court (where Harris is pictured today) heard that the veteran star approached his alleged victims with lines such as 'You're a little bit irresistible'

Jurors at London’s Southwark Crown Court (where Harris is pictured today) heard that the veteran star approached his alleged victims with lines such as ‘You’re a little bit irresistible’

The 87-year-old was said to have groped a trio of young fans in public settings while maintaining his reputation as Britain’s top children’s entertainer.

Questions over the jury being out for five hours

It is unclear why the jury in the Harris case were discharged after only four hours and 47 minutes of deliberation, with some juries in other cases spending weeks coming to a decision.

The jury first went out at 1pm on Friday and had two hours of deliberation, before a further two hours today in discussion between 10am and 12pm.

After the jury had been out for four hours by midday today, the judge allowed them to a return of a majority verdict of 11-1 or 10-2.

However, about 40 minutes later they came back into court with a note for the judge – without having reached a verdict – and were discharged.

Harris had been accused of indecently assaulting three girls, aged 13 to 16, at the Lyceum Theatre in London after filming for ITV’s Star Games and in the BBC’s Saturday Superstore green room.

Jurors at London’s Southwark Crown Court heard the veteran star approached his alleged victims with lines such as ‘You’re a little bit irresistible’ and ‘Do you often get molested on a Saturday morning?’.

They contacted police and the NSPCC after seeing reports of his convictions in 2014 for molesting four girls, aged between seven and 19, between 1969 and 1986.

Harris was stripped of his honours after those verdicts, including an MBE in 1968, an OBE in 1977 and a CBE in 2006 after he was jailed for five years and nine months.

The former Animal Hospital presenter was released from HMP Stafford on May 19 after serving less than half the sentence.

Harris left court today without making any comment to reporters before getting into a car

Harris left court today without making any comment to reporters before getting into a car

Harris (pictured outside court this afternoon), who denied all the charges, did not give evidence with his lawyers saying he did not remember any of the events in question

Harris (pictured outside court this afternoon), who denied all the charges, did not give evidence with his lawyers saying he did not remember any of the events in question

Former entertainer and musician Harris (pictured today) denies four counts of indecent assault relating to three teenagers who allege he molested them in the 1970s and 1980s

His youngest alleged victim said she was speaking out about the 'pervert' for 'vindication and justice'.

Earlier: Former entertainer and musician Harris (pictured arriving at court today) had denied four counts of indecent assault relating to three teenagers who allege he molested them

The Australia-born artist insisted those convictions left him ‘vulnerable’ to fake claims from liars looking to make a quick buck or a spot in the limelight.

Rolf Harris in court: A four-year timeline

  • August 2013: Harris is charged with various offences of indecent assault under Operation Yewtree
  • June 2014: He is found guilty of 12 counts of indecently assaulting four girls in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s
  • July 2014: Harris is jailed for five years and nine months for his crimes
  • March 2015: He is stripped of his three honours, including an MBE in 1968, OBE in 1977 and a CBE in 2006
  • February 2016: Harris is charged with more indecent assault counts
  • January 2017: Harris goes on trial accused of groping a trio of young female fans in public settings
  • February 2017: He is cleared on three charges but the jury are discharged from deliberating on four counts and a retrial is ordered
  • May 15, 2017: The retrial on four counts of indecent assault begins
  • May 19: Harris is released from HMP Stafford after serving less than half his sentence and returns home
  • May 22: He starts attending the case in person having previously appeared via videolink from prison
  • May 30 : The second jury trying Harris on claims he molested the three young fans is discharged and the CPS decides against a third trial

After deliberating for less than five hours today, the jury of seven women and five men took said they could not reach verdicts on the four counts of indecent assault.

Judge Deborah Taylor said: ‘Well, in that case I am going to discharge you in relation to all the counts you are dealing with in this case.’

Later, prosecutor Jonathan Rees QC said: ‘We have reviewed whether it would be appropriate to seek a further retrial on these allegations.

‘The CPS has come to the firm view that it would not. Accordingly we offer no evidence on the four counts on the indictment.’

Harris was said to have pulled a 14-year-old girl onto his lap and slipping his hand up her skirt at the Lyceum Theatre in London’s West End in July 1971.

The woman, now 60, told jurors she had ‘wandered over and had a look’ after spotting him signing autographs for other youngsters before picking up a pre-signed scrap of paper.

But his former tour manager told jurors how Harris always personally signed autographs and was never ‘the instigator of touching a child and or adult and draw them towards him’.

Harris was also accused of molesting a 16-year-old who assisted him during filming for ITV’s Star Games in 1978 also featuring celebrities including Radio One DJ Tony Blackburn and former EastEnders actress Rula Lenska.

Harris, pictured in 2001 at his home in Bray, Berkshire, is the highest profile celebrity to be tried under the Metropolitan Police’s Operation Yewtree probe

Harris, pictured in 2001 at his home in Bray, Berkshire, is the highest profile celebrity to be tried under the Metropolitan Police’s Operation Yewtree probe

Harris is pictured outside the same court in 2014 with (from left) his daughter Bindi, wife Alwen and niece Jenny

Harris is pictured outside the same court in 2014 with (from left) his daughter Bindi, wife Alwen and niece Jenny

The former Animal Hospital presenter (pictured in 2004) was released from jail on May 19

The former Animal Hospital presenter (pictured in 2004) was released from jail on May 19

Harris's lawyer Daniel Berke said outside the court today that the former entertainer 'feels no sense of victory, only relief'

Harris’s lawyer Daniel Berke said outside the court today that the former entertainer ‘feels no sense of victory, only relief’

Whilst I am pleased that this is finally over, I feel no sense of victory – just relief. I am 87 years old, my wife is in ill-health and we simply want to spend our remaining time together
Rolf Harris

The court was told Harris – who was convicted of groping another 16-year-old at the show in his first trial – told her she was ‘a little bit irresistible’ before grabbing her breast and later forcing his hand between her legs.

Another 13-year-old fan told police she was ‘shocked’ when the disgraced entertainer whispered: ‘Do you often get molested on a Saturday morning?’ after a broadcast of children’s show Saturday Superstore.

He was charged with fondling her breast in the show’s green room on New Year’s Day in 1983.

Insisting she came forward for ‘vindication and justice’, the court heard she made her complaint the same day that a newspaper website featured an article headlined ‘Victims of Rolf Harris to receive £200,000 in compensation’.

Harris is the highest profile celebrity to be tried under the Metropolitan Police’s Operation Yewtree probe, launched in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal.

Harris, formerly of Bray, Berkshire, denied four counts of indecent assault and two juries have been unable to agree on verdicts in relation to each count.

I’ll buy Rolf a takeaway to celebrate his freedom, says Vince Hill

Harris's friend Vince Hill, 83, is 'hugely relieved' that the case has been dropped

Harris’s friend Vince Hill, 83, is ‘hugely relieved’ that the case has been dropped

Vince Hill was delighted today at his lifelong friend Harris’s freedom.

The 83-year-old veteran crooner admitted he was ‘hugely relieved’ that the case had been dropped.

Now he plans to buy an Indian meal for his friend of 50 years at his home in Shiplake, near Henley-upon-Thames in Oxfordshire.

Hill said: ‘It will be from our favourite Indian takeaway restaurant.

‘Spicy Indian food is something Rolf will have missed locked up in HMP Stafford, and now I plan making it up to him. The treat will definitely be on me.’

He added: ‘I haven’t been able to speak to Rolf or his family in recent weeks but will put that right in a call to their home later today.’

The pair have enjoyed family river trips and picnics in the past five decades.

Revealed: How Rolf failed in a bid to stay at home during his trial to be with his ailing wife

Harris tried to stand trial from the comfort of his own home to be close to his ill wife Alwen (pictured together outside court in May 2014)

Harris tried to stand trial from the comfort of his own home to be close to his ill wife Alwen (pictured together outside court in May 2014)

Rolf Harris made an audacious bid to stand trial on indecent assault charges from the comfort of his own home, it can now be reported today.

The disgraced 87-year-old asked to appear via a video link from his Berkshire house to be close to his ill wife Alwen, 85, after his release from prison.

Harris left HMP Stafford on licence part-way through his retrial after serving less than three years of a five year and nine-month sentence handed down in 2014 for unconnected sex attacks on young girls and women.

He was granted bail by Judge Deborah Taylor for the remainder of the retrial, having previously appeared via video link from Stafford, as he did in the original hearing in January and February.

But the judge rejected his request to remain at his home in Bray, near Maidenhead, ordering that he must come to court each day.

This was despite him offering to foot the bill for a professional video link to be installed.

Judge Taylor heard the argument over Harris’s location in a private hearing ‘in chambers’, which the public and press were excluded from.

Harris and his wife Alwen, pictured in 1958. His defence barrister said: 'She isn't getting better obviously, it isn't as if she had a case that is going to resolve itself. She is getting worse'

Harris and his wife Alwen, pictured in 1958. His defence barrister said: ‘She isn’t getting better obviously, it isn’t as if she had a case that is going to resolve itself. She is getting worse’

But she had earlier heard a brief outline from defence barrister Stephen Vullo QC in open court while the jury were absent.

Mr Vullo said the application was for ‘video link from home address’, after the judge raised the idea of another location being used.

Harris, pictured with Alwen in 1977, returned home after being released from jail on May 19

Harris, pictured with Alwen in 1977, returned home after being released from jail on May 19

He said: ‘An alternative address would have to be a hotel and part of the application for bail, part of the reason for the change, is to spend more time with his partner.

‘She isn’t getting better obviously, it isn’t as if she had a case that is going to resolve itself. She is getting worse.’

After the judge raised the issue of security and ‘breakdowns’ if a system like Skype was used, Mr Vullo revealed that Harris had contacted the firm who install video links for the court service and was prepared to fund it himself.

After hearing the arguments in private, Judge Deborah Taylor told reporters on Wednesday May 7: ‘Mr Harris is to be released from HMP Stafford on this coming Friday, May 19.

‘Yesterday (Tuesday), following an application by the defence that was unopposed by the prosecution I decided to grant Mr Harris bail in relation to the charges the jury are considering in this case.’

The jury was told on the Friday of Harris’s release and that he would appear in court in person, but strict limits were placed on what they were told about his previous convictions and the circumstances of his release.

The decision to allow the former Animal Hospital host to appear via video link from prison for January’s trial was believed to be a legal first.

Judge Alistair McCreath had ruled in December that Harris did not have to come to court in person the following month because of his age and health.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4554100/Jury-Rolf-Harris-s-retrial-continue-deliberations.html#ixzz4iaxmV9WC
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