UK

Rolf Harris 'indecently assaulted girl after autograph request'

Rolf Harris Image copyright JULIA QUENZLER

A woman who alleges she was indecently assaulted by TV presenter Rolf Harris has told his trial how he put his hand up her skirt after she asked for an autograph.

The woman said she was with her mother at a radio station in Portsmouth aged 12 when the incident happened in 1977.

She told the jury the alleged indecent assault was "horrible" and "wrong".

Mr Harris, 86, denies seven charges of indecent assault and one of sexual assault.

He is appearing at court via video link from Stafford Prison.

'Little cuddle'

Giving evidence at Southwark Crown Court via video link, the woman said she and her mother approached Mr Harris as he left the radio station, where he had been taking part in a programme.

She said: "I was quite pleased seeing him in real life because I'd seen him on television... It was nice seeing someone famous."

The woman went on to describe how Mr Harris signed an autograph for her mother before turning to her.

"He said: 'I think it's your turn now. Let me give you a little cuddle,'" she said.

"He put his arm round me, one round my back, one down the lower part of my body, up my skirt and into my knickers.

"He touched me where nobody had touched me before."

She added: "I pulled away, it didn't feel right. I didn't know anything about sex, I was completely unworldly.

"It just felt horrible, it just felt wrong. It was seconds before I pulled away.

"My mum was standing less than a foot away from me."

She said Mr Harris signed her autograph book and they left.

The woman said she told her mother what had happened but was not believed.

She reported the alleged indecent assault after Mr Harris was convicted of indecently assaulting four other women in 2014.

Family friend

Defending, Stephen Vullo QC said the year the woman had written in her autograph book was incorrect, adding: "I can't agree with you that he was there [at the radio station] in 1977."

The court heard the woman also said she had been abused by a family friend during her childhood and that her mother had not believed her about that.

She denied that she had come forward to seek the "support and attention" she did not get in relation to that incident.

Mr Vullo said: "Can I just put to you that the allegation you make against Mr Harris is not true?"

She said: "I say it is true."

The jury has been told Mr Harris is currently serving a prison sentence and is appearing at the trial via video link because of his age and poor health.

The hearing at Southwark Crown Court continues.

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