News National ‘Don’t rush Harris verdict’

‘Don’t rush Harris verdict’

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The jury in the trial of Rolf Harris on charges of indecent assault has retired to consider its verdict.

At the end of the six-week trial in London, the six men and six women of the jury were instructed not to rush their deliberations.

Harris, 84, is charged with assaulting four girls in the UK between 1968 and 1986. He has denied inappropriately touching any of the alleged victims.

Justice Nigel Sweeney has asked the jury to return unanimous verdicts on all 12 counts of indecent assault.

Justice Sweeney spent almost the entire day on Wednesday going over the evidence relating to the main complainant, a childhood friend of Rolf Harris’s daughter Bindi.

The friend claims the star first abused her when she joined the family on an overseas holiday in 1978.

Justice Sweeney urged the jury not to overestimate the value of a suggestion given by an Australian make-up artist that the entertainer was known as “the octopus” because of his roaming hands.

Prosecutor Sasha Wass, QC, has argued a letter Harris wrote to the alleged victim’s father in 1997 is the “key to the case”.

The defence, on the other hand, said the letter was consistent with Harris’s claim he had had a 10-year affair with Bindi’s friend.