Rolf Harris had appetite for groping, claims prosecutor

Rolf Harris (court sketch by Julia Quenzler) Image copyright Julia Quenzler

Rolf Harris fed his "appetite" by groping women and girls in public places, a jury has been told.

The former entertainer acted "under the noses" of other people, prosecutor Jonathan Rees QC said in his closing speech at Southwark Crown Court.

Mr Harris, 86, denies seven indecent assaults and one sexual assault on victims aged between 12 and 42, from 1971 to 2004.

His lawyer said there was "something significantly wrong" with each claim.

Mr Harris is currently serving a prison sentence for indecent assault on four females.

Until late last week, he followed the trial via a video-link from jail.

For the latest hearing, he sat in the dock in a navy suit, light blue striped shirt and dark blue and red tie.

Mr Rees said: "It is striking that so many of the allegations involve Mr Harris getting away with a sly, quick grope right under the noses of people who did not notice.

"We suggest that Mr Harris was very good at getting away with it."

He said the previous convictions showed Mr Harris "has a propensity and appetite for indecently assaulting females".

Defence investigation

Mr Harris did not give evidence in his defence at the trial.

His lawyer said he would not have been able to add to the police statement in which he denied all the allegations, and had little recollection of events he is said to have attended.

Closing the defence case, Stephen Vullo QC suggested Mr Harris would not have put so much effort into clearing his name if guilty.

He paid for investigators to search for evidence in the UK, France and his native Australia, said the barrister.

"He must know, mustn't he, if he is a sexual predator?" said Mr Vullo.

"Why, then, has he paid for his own investigation?"

He added: "We say quite simply that there is something significantly wrong with each of the complainants' cases."

The defence closing speech will continue on Wednesday.

More on this story