News People Harris thrilled by risky assaults: witness

Harris thrilled by risky assaults: witness

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A woman who claims Rolf Harris indecently assaulted her repeatedly, sometimes while his wife and daughter were nearby, finally went to the police partly because the entertainer was on TV so often she felt he was “invading” her home.

The main complainant in Harris’s London trial is a childhood friend of his daughter Bindi.

She told Southwark Crown Court on Monday the presenter first assaulted her when she was 13 and joined the Harris family on an overseas holiday in 1978.

The self-described “excruciatingly shy” girl had showered at their Hawaii hotel and was wrapped in a towel.

“He came over to me and gave me one of his big hugs and tickles,” the alleged victim said, adding she’d always found the embraces “creepy”.

“He spat on his fingers, put them inside the towel, and put them into my crotch area.”

The woman, now 49, said Harris murmured “Mmm” and “You’re lovely”.

On another day in Hawaii the TV presenter wrapped her in a towel on a beach and again put his fingers inside her bikini.

Harris’s wife, Alwen, and Bindi were just a few feet away.

On a separate occasion the complainant woke to find Harris above her taking photos.

Years later, when she was 28, the entertainer told her the flesh-coloured bikini she’d worn as a 13-year-old “turned him on”.

The woman on Monday said she felt responsible because she didn’t stop him.

The assaults continued on holiday in Australia and then back in London when Bindi’s friend started drinking gin to deal with panic attacks and anxiety.

Harris molested her at her home and his own, she said.

When the alleged victim was 15 she slept over in Bindi’s room.

Harris entered in the morning, spat on his fingers – “like he always did” – and indecently assaulted her.

Then he performed oral sex on the teenager, only stopping when she pretended to have an orgasm.

The whole time Bindi was in her bed which was “quite close”.

“He didn’t feel inhibited,” the witness said.

“I think he got a thrill out of it.”

On another occasion Harris entered his daughter’s bedroom and took out his “very small, very very small” penis and proceeded to fondle himself, the witness said on Monday from behind a curtain which meant only the judge, jury and lawyers could see her.

He expected her to perform oral sex but she avoided it.

In her 20s the woman “felt dead” as she had consensual encounters with Harris.

She was 22 when the celebrity pulled his Mercedes off the M4 motorway and asked her to perform oral sex.

The same request was made years later at a theatre before Harris performed in a pantomime.

Contact ceased when Bindi’s friend moved to Norfolk aged 29 in the mid-1990s.

She told her parents, brothers, friends and even Bindi after she asked: “Why have you got a downer on my dad? Has he touched you?”

The woman sought medical help and quit drinking in 2000.

Then, in June 2012, she was watching the Queen’s diamond jubilee on TV with family and friends.

Harris appeared on the screen and the complainant thought “I can’t get away from this bloody man” and burst out crying.

It seemed like Harris was on TV so often he was invading her home, she said.

The alleged victim decided she’d had enough and called the police in November 2012.

Harris’s defence barrister is due to cross-examine the witness on Tuesday.

The 84-year-old is accused of indecently assaulting four girls, one as young as seven or eight, between 1968 and 1986. He denies all the charges.