Rolf Harris 'hid demon under charming exterior'
- 10 June 2014
- From the section UK
Veteran entertainer Rolf Harris was a "pervert" who hid a demon under his "charming exterior", a court has heard.
In her closing speech at the 84-year-old's trial, prosecutor Sasha Wass QC said Mr Harris had targeted young fans "mesmerised by his fame and talents".
She said the entertainer was "arrogant and brazen" and had "treated women and young girls as sexual objects to be groped and mauled as he felt like it".
Mr Harris denies 12 indecent assaults on four alleged victims over 18 years.
The charges relate to the period between 1968 and 1986.
Ms Wass told the jury at Southwark Crown Court that Mr Harris had shown a pattern of "deviant sexual behaviour" towards victims who had no reason to invent their claims.
"You can't buy... you can't bully... and you certainly can't sing your way out of a criminal charge," she told him.
Ms Wass accused the entertainer of staging his daily "slow walk" to court with his wife and daughter "for the sole purpose of the cameras", adding: "It's nothing more than a public relations exercise."
Ms Wass said the police investigation had been sparked by allegations by a friend of his daughter, who said she had been abused over 16 years.
She had finally reported him in November 2012, 34 years after the first alleged instance of abuse.
"And so began the investigation into the seemingly untouchable, world-famous children's entertainer," said Ms Wass.
"Thereafter police investigations uncovered more and more women who felt able to come forward and describe what Rolf Harris had done to them when they were young and vulnerable and impressionable.
"Each woman, unknown to the others, describes a similar pattern of deviant sexual behaviour.
"The chances of any of them making up such similar accusations in the absence of knowing each other is absurd," Ms Wass told the court.
'Unable to escape'
Later she added: "These victims saw the dark side of Rolf Harris, they saw the side of Rolf Harris who admitted that he was sexually attracted to a 13-year-old girl.
"They saw the side of Rolf Harris who admitted engaging in sexual activity with his daughter's best friend in the presence of his daughter.
"They saw the side to Rolf Harris which traded on his public image to envelop children and young women in his famous bear hugs and sexually abuse them in circumstances in which they were unable to escape.
"And they saw the arrogance of the man whose immediate response to being accused of child abuse was 'It takes two to tango'."
The case continues.