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Rolf Harris Latest: Alleged Victim Denies Seeking Compensation

23/05/2017 12:30 AM AEST

One of Rolf Harris’s alleged victims said she is speaking out for “vindication and justice” as the entertainer sat in court for the first day since his trial began.

Harris, 87, is accused of touching the then 13-year-old schoolgirl after he appeared in a broadcast of the BBC’s Saturday Superstore in 1983.

He also allegedly asked the young teenager if she often got molested on a Saturday morning, which his defence team claimed had been said in a jokey way.

PA Wire/PA Images
Rolf Harris arriving at Southwark Crown Court on Monday 

It is the first time the jury has seen the Australia-born former television star, who was released from HMP Stafford on Friday morning, in person for his indecent assault trial at Southwark Crown Court.

The complainant, who gave evidence via video link as Harris followed with a hearing loop, was quizzed on her motives for coming forward 30 years after the alleged incident.

Asked by prosecutor Jonathan Rees if she had made a claim for compensation, she said: “No I haven’t, and I don’t intend to.

“This has never been about compensation, it’s been about vindication and justice.”

She added that coming forward had been “the hardest thing I have ever had to do”.

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Harris denies four counts of indecent assault 

Of the past few decades, she said: “It’s been an awful experience, and certainly not something I would do for any kind of fun or any other reason.

“All I want is entirely vindication and justice for the people these things happened to over the years.”

Harris denies four charges against three women between 1971 and 1983.

His niece Jenny looked on as the entertainer, who previously appeared via video link, sat in the dock wearing a dark suit and patterned tie.

He is expected to follow the rest of proceedings in person.

The court heard the alleged victim made her official complaint in July 2014, the same day the Daily Star website ran a piece with the headline “Victims of Rolf Harris to receive £200,000 in compensation”.

She said she had not been aware of the headline as she was “not really a Daily Star reader”.

The woman said she had been aware of people claiming compensation, but not of the exact sums of money.

Asked why she waited so long to come forward she replied: “Because it is quite a decision to make, to come forward when you haven’t been believed by members of your own family and others ... it takes a while to make a decision to come forward and talk to the police.”

The court was also told that Harris was joking when he allegedly asked the young girl if she often got molested on a Saturday morning.

Stephen Vullo QC asked the complainant: “So it’s clear I don’t dispute on Mr Harris’s behalf he may have said something to you along the lines of ‘do you like to be molested on a Saturday morning?’ or something like that, but he would have said that in a jokey fashion while maybe marching you up and down the corridor?”

She replied: “No absolutely not.”

She went on: “I fail to see, whether it is said to a group or a single child, how that can be misconstrued as a joke in any way.”

The alleged victim’s husband told the court that compensation had never been a goal for his wife.

He said he first became aware of what his wife was claiming when she shouted “pervert” at the television in her flat when Harris appeared on it, at some point before 2000.

He was then “shocked” as she went on to tell him she had been touched by the entertainer on Saturday Superstore.

Mr Rees asked whether he and his wife “cooked this up between you, saw an opportunity, saw pound signs in your eyes” before going after Harris.

He replied: “No, she said from the start she did not want compensation.” 

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