Rolf Harris conviction: Australia reacts to star's fall

Rolf Harris with Prince Charles Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Rolf Harris is one of Australia's most famous exports and has rubbed shoulders with the British royal family.

Rolf Harris was arguably one of the most famous Australians abroad - he is now almost certainly the most infamous.

The trial has received widespread coverage here and has often been front page news.

The verdict came too late for the most of the Australian newspapers but the tabloid Sydney Daily Telegraph ran with a simple one word headline "GUILTY."

Although Harris left Australia for England in 1952, he now faces the possibility of further charges being brought here.


During the trial several Australian women came forward alleging that Harris molested them during return visits to his country of birth.

Two radio presenters say Harris groped them following interviews.

Verity James, a radio host in Perth says Harris assaulted her following an interview in 2000. She says the man she calls "the octopus" pushed her up against a wall, grabbed her buttocks and rubbed her breasts.

A second journalist Jane Marwick alleges she was groped as she posed for a photograph with Harris after an interview in 2001.

Neither woman has said whether they will press charges here.

One Australian woman Tonya Lee, who waived her right to anonymity, was one of those who took the case to trial in the UK.

She told the court Harris assaulted her on a "dream" trip to London with a youth theatre group in 1986. She said Harris invited her to sit on his knee in a pub then sexually abused her.

She says he then attacked her again outside the pub bathroom.

For older Australians Harris was one of the country's best known exports, a household name.

Despite living in the UK, he was a regular face on Australian television during the 1960s, 70s and 80s.

He was inducted into the Australian Recording Industry Association's Hall of Fame.

Until last year his famous musical wobble board sat in Australia's National Museum in Canberra.

'Sinister pervert'

But many of the younger generation will tell you, until this case, they'd never heard of him.

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Media captionThe BBC's David Sillito takes a look back at Rolf Harris's case

Rolf Harris was born in the Perth suburb of Bassendean in 1930.

His parents had emigrated to Australia from Wales.

"The boy from Bassendean", as he was known, is honoured with a plaque inlaid into one of the city's footpaths.

There are now plans to dig it up.

That "boy" has now been labelled a "sinister pervert" by the prosecution.

He caused controversy in Australia in 2008 after he said Aboriginals should stop "complaining about poverty" and "get off their arse" to "clean up the streets."

But generally, until this case, Harris's image had been squeaky clean.

A poll taken in the Australian Reader's Digest before this case emerged listed him as among the country's top hundred most trusted people.

Few will trust him now.