News World Rolf Harris verdict: entertainer not guilty on three counts

Rolf Harris verdict: entertainer not guilty on three counts

Rolf Harris trial
A court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook of Rolf Harris as he is found not guilty of three indecent assaults. Photo: Elizabeth Cook/PA
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A London jury has found Rolf Harris not guilty on three groping charges, but has failed to reach verdicts on four other counts, meaning a retrial might take place.

The jury took just under a week to deliberate on the 86 year old disgraced Australian entertainer’s case, in which he was accused of seven alleged assaults said to have taken place over four decades.

Rolf Harris trial not guilty
Rolf Harris’ niece Jenny Harris leaves Southwark Crown Court after the verdicts were delivered. Photo: Philip Toscano/PA Wire

Harris is currently in jail following a 2014 trial which saw him convicted of 12 sex offences against four female victims, one aged as young as seven or eight.

The prosecution in the new trial said Harris’s previous convictions showed he had an “appetite” for groping girls and young women in public venues.

The defence accused complainants of fabricating their claims in the hopes of gaining financial compensation.

Judge Alistair McCreath discharged the jury and has set a hearing date of February 15 to determine if a retrial will take place on the undecided charges.

The charges on which he has been found not guilty include the alleged indecent assaults of a blind and disabled woman, and a 13-year-old girl who sought an autograph off him at a radio station.

Both incidents were alleged to have occurred in the late 1970s.

Harris was also found not guilty of sexually assaulting a 42-year-old woman who alleged the entertainer grabbed her breasts at a party in 2004.

Harris let out a sigh after the second “not guilty” verdict was read out.

Rolf Harris trial
Rolf Harris’ lawyer Daniel Berke speaking outside the court after the verdicts. Photo: Philip Toscano/PA Wire

He waved to his supporters when he left the Southwark Crown Court, one of whom was in tears after hearing the decision.

The 86-year-old will return to Stafford Prison where he is serving a sentence of five years and nine months for previous convictions of indecent assault.

Harris was stripped of his Order of Australia honours and his CBE in 2014.