Thursday, 14 December, 2017

Harris jury discharged, no verdict reached

Former Bassendean resident Rolf Harris Former Bassendean resident Rolf Harris
Velma Reese | 31 May, 2017, 01:01

The disgraced musician and TV star, 87, walked free from London's Southwark Crown Court on Tuesday (30May17) after a jury failed to reach verdicts on four historical indecent assault charges dating from the 1970s and 1980s.

It had been a retrial for Harris on three counts after a jury in a previous trial failed to reached verdicts.

He had been accused of indecently touching a 14-year-old girl in 1971 after she asked him for an autograph at a music event for children in London.

Earlier on Tuesday morning the jury reported they were unable to reach unanimous verdicts so Judge Deborah Taylor allowed them to return majority verdicts.

It was the second jury to fail to reach agreement on allegations Harris molested three teenage girls between 1971 and 1983.

He was released from prison less than three years into a sentence of five years and nine months handed down in June 2014.

Prosecutors had been given until Friday afternoon to decide whether to seek a second retrial on the charges but made a decision to abandon the case.

WH communications director Michael Dubke resigns
Bossie encouraged the American people to say enough is enough, and reject the concept of "the celebrity press conference". More attorneys with deep experience in Washington investigations are expected to be added in the weeks ahead.

However Harris' lawyers claimed the women were motivated by greed and only came forward due to their client's 2014 conviction on 12 counts of indecent assault.

Two further charges related to alleged indecent assaults on a teenager in 1978, during filming for ITV celebrity show Star Games.

He told the judge the prosecution would not offer any evidence and invited the judge to enter not guilty verdicts on the four counts, which she then did.

He was alleged to have touched her after a recording of the BBC children's show Saturday Superstore in 1983.

There was a cry of "Well done, Rolf" from the public gallery as the former television star left the courtroom.

In a statement read by his lawyer outside the court, Harris said: "While I'm pleased that this is finally all over I feel no sense of victory, just relief".

Earlier this month, Harris was released from HMP Stafford on licence part-way through the retrial.

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