UK

Rolf Harris trial: Judge gives jury majority direction

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

The jury in the trial of former TV star Rolf Harris has been told it can consider majority verdicts.

Jurors, who began deliberating last Thursday at Southwark Crown Court, must agree 10-2 for a verdict to be reached.

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

Allegations include him touching girls inappropriately when asked to sign autographs.

Prosecutors told the court Mr Harris had an "appetite" for groping women and girls in public places.

'Fall from grace'

Jonathan Rees QC said it was striking that so many allegations involved Mr Harris "getting away with a sly, quick grope right under the noses of people who did not notice."

Stephen Vullo QC, defending, said it was hard to imagine "a harder or faster or deeper fall from grace".

He blamed a "media frenzy" for making Mr Harris "vulnerable to people making accusations against him".

Mr Vullo said Mr Harris was innocent of these latest charges, as well as indecent assaults over which he was convicted in 2014.

Mr Harris, who found success with novelty pop hits and on children's TV, is serving a prison sentence for indecent assaults on four females.

He declined to give evidence at his second trial, choosing to watch proceedings on a videolink from Stafford prison, and later from the dock with a hearing loop.

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