UK

Rolf Harris trial: Woman accused of making up assault claim

Rolf Harris in court Image copyright Julia Quenzler

A woman who claims Rolf Harris groped her when she was 14 has been accused of making up the allegation as part of a "compensation bandwagon".

The alleged victim said Mr Harris, 87, put his hand up her skirt at a 1971 music event for children in London.

She first went to the authorities about her allegation days after Harris was convicted in 2014 at a separate trial, jurors heard.

Mr Harris denies four charges of indecent assault against three girls.

Southwark Crown Court heard the woman made two calls to the NSPCC on 3 July, 2014.

In the first call she said she had been touched inappropriately by Harris at the 1971 youth event at the Lyceum Theatre, saying: "There was a guest appearance by Rolf Harris, I don't need to say any more."

Cross-examining the woman, defence lawyer Stephen Vullo asked why she had chosen to phone the NSPCC then, the day before Mr Harris was due to be sentenced.

She said she had not been able to remember the date.

Later, he asked if in the days before her call to the NSPCC she had read that people "were in line to take part of his £11m fortune" - she denied this.

The court previously heard that the woman's brother, who had been at the Lyceum Theatre at the time of the alleged indecent assault, did not back her allegation.

She told Mr Vullo her brother had spoken to a private investigator hired by the defendant.

Mr Vullo said the woman had left her brother out of her allegation until January 2017.

"You know that if you asked him for an account he would prove your account to be false, wouldn't he?"

She replied: "No."

Mr Harris is also alleged to have indecently touched a 13-year-old girl's breast in 1983 and twice groped a third teenage girl in 1978.

The trial is due to last three weeks.

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