Rolf Harris guilty: More alleged victims come forward
- 1 July 2014
- From the section UK
The Crown Prosecution Service says it will work with the police to see if there is enough evidence to bring further charges against Rolf Harris.
Police have received new complaints against the TV entertainer, who was convicted of 12 indecent assaults on four girls in the 1960s, 70s and 80s.
One of those Harris, 84, abused was an autograph hunter aged seven or eight, another a friend of his daughter.
Up to 12 people contacted a law firm after the verdict about civil claims.
The firm, Slater & Gordon, which is also representing people who have made sexual abuse complaints against the late DJ Jimmy Savile, said it was carefully considering their cases.
It is believed some of the people who contacted the firm were also in touch with police or the NSPCC charity during Harris's seven-week trial at Southwark Crown Court in London.
There have also been complaints to police from people in Harris's native Australia.
But while officers in Western Australia said there were currently no new investigations into him, a Metropolitan Police spokesman confirmed the UK force had "received a number of new allegations and these are now being considered".
The NSPCC children's charity says its helpline has received a number of calls relating to Harris since the trial began and passed these on to on police for investigation.
Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders said it was too early to say whether Harris could face any further action.
"We'll work with the police and look at any cases that they send to us and see if there is enough evidence to bring more charges," she told the BBC.
In Australia, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said he was "gutted and dismayed" by what Harris had done.
Mr Abbott told Australia's ABC radio sexual abuse was "an utterly abhorrent crime" and added: "It's just sad and tragic that this person, who was widely admired, seems to have been a perpetrator."
Tributes to Perth-born Harris in Western Australia could now be removed, the city's mayor Lisa Scaffidi said.
The verdict was greeted on the front page of the Sydney Morning Herald with a full-page mugshot beneath a one-word "Guilty" headline.
During his trial prosecutors said Harris was a "Jekyll and Hyde" character who took advantage of his fame.
The judge, Mr Justice Sweeney, said a custodial term would be "uppermost in the court's mind" when sentence was delivered on Friday, but he wanted to see a medical report first.
The majority of allegations during Harris's trial concerned the friend of the entertainer's daughter whom he had groomed and molested from the age of 13 until she was 19.
The other victims were two women who were touched by Harris at public appearances, and an Australian woman who told the court he indecently assaulted her at a pub during a visit to London when she was 15 year old.
Six women also told the court about indecent assaults Harris had carried out against them in Australia, New Zealand and Malta. The entertainer could not be prosecuted over those incidents in a British court but the evidence was introduced as an added illustration of his behaviour.
And the prosecution highlighted similarities in all the women's stories when presenting its case.
One of Harris's victims, Tonya Lee, 43, said the abuse had led her to contemplate taking her own life.
The mother-of-three, who waived her right to anonymity, said: "To this day I can't go to sleep without lying in a lounge and having the TV on. I cannot lie in a room and try and sit with my thoughts and go to sleep."
Harris, from Bray, Berkshire, was first questioned in November 2012 in Scotland Yard's Operation Yewtree investigation set up in the wake of sexual abuse allegations against the late BBC Radio 1 DJ Jimmy Savile.
Although his arrest was unconnected to Savile's offending, the publicity surrounding that case had prompted the friend of Harris's daughter to come forward.
Lawyers for Harris wrote to media organisations including the BBC at the time warning them against naming their client and threatening libel action.
When he was arrested again in March 2013 the Met did not name Harris and he was not identified in the mainstream media until a few weeks later.
The other women who gave evidence in court contacted police after Harris's arrest was made public and he was charged in August of that year.
Harris was named last week in a report into the actions of Savile, which revealed Harris had visited Broadmoor psychiatric hospital in 1973.
Politicians and officials have faced criticism for allowing Savile, whose prolific abuse sparked the Yewtree investigation, unrestricted access to the psychiatric hospital where he assaulted patients.
A spokeswoman for West London Mental Heath NHS Trust, which runs services at Broadmoor, said Harris may have been accompanied by Savile during his visit but that he was also escorted by staff at all times and there was "no suggestion of any inappropriate behaviour".
In the 1980s Harris fronted a child protection awareness video in which he was filmed telling children how to say no to predatory adults.
John Cameron - head of child protection at the NSPCC - told BBC Breakfast: "The audacity of the man is beyond belief.
"Here he was, giving this pretence that he had children's welfare at heart, but of course behind the scenes, in front of many people, he was abusing children on a regular basis."
Mr Cameron also told the BBC that the number of general calls to the NSPCC, not involving Harris, had seen a "significant increase" following Monday's verdicts.
"We have had more calls, about historic and contemporary abuse," he said. "The media attention has been key to getting people to have confidence in the services. At long last, they're going to be believed, and listened to, and taken seriously.
"Now Harris has been found guilty, they can see the process works."
Speaking after the entertainer was convicted, Det Ch Insp Mick Orchard said the "case and verdict once again shows that we will always listen to, and investigate allegations regardless of the time frame or those involved".
Harris was a mainstay of family entertainment in Britain and his native Australia for more than 50 years, appearing on the BBC and other TV networks.
He is to be stripped of his British Academy of Film and Television Arts fellowship - the TV industry's highest accolade - which was awarded two years ago, a Bafta spokesman said after the verdict.
There are also calls for him to lose the honours given to him by the Queen.
Labour MP Simon Danczuk said: "I think the guy is an absolute disgrace and he is bringing the whole honours system into disrepute."
The Australian, who began his career as an artist, became a CBE in 2005, the year he painted a portrait of the Queen to mark her 80th birthday.
A final decision on whether to revoke Harris's honours ultimately rests with Buckingham Palace.