‘I thought I was going to be raped’: Teenage victim relives terrifying moment Rolf Harris allegedly pinned her against wall and groped her after offering to show her his artwork
- Harris, 84, faces 12 charges of indecent assault on four alleged victims
- Alleged sex attacks, which he denies, took place between 1968 and 1986
- Teenager says Harris groped her and gave her ‘slobbery kiss’ in Malta
- Says she feared he was going to rape her so was ‘happy’ assault was over
- Another woman says Harris assaulted her at friend’s home in Australia
- She was sick and came downstairs in pyjamas to find him in kitchen
- Claims Harris asked her her age and she told him she was 11
- She says he told her: ‘Good, I want to introduce you to a tongue kiss’
- A third woman says she met Harris at party in New Zealand at age 16 or 17
- Says he signed autograph ‘With my love’ and put hand between her legs
An 18-year-old woman thought she was going to be raped when Rolf Harris pinned her against a wall and groped her, a court has heard.
Giving evidence at Southwark Crown Court today, the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said she met the entertainer while on holiday in Malta in 1970.
Her boyfriend hurt his foot while swimming, and Harris, now 84, came out of a bar and helped them find a doctor, the jury was told.
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A woman told a jury she feared she’d be raped by Rolf Harris, seen today with wife, Alwen, and daughter, Bindi
The woman then went back to thank the artist, and he took her into a side room, offering to show the aspiring art student some of his work.
It is claimed he pinned her against a wall and gave her a ‘slobbery’ kiss before touching her intimately.
The woman said of the kiss: ‘It was quite slobbery. It wasn’t very nice.
‘I was quite shocked, more shocked than anything.’
She told the jury at first she was ‘a bit flattered’, and that after the alleged assault Harris ‘just stopped whatever he was doing and just cuddled me’.
Prosecutor Sasha Wass QC asked her: ‘Did he say anything?’
She replied: ‘[He said] ‘I’m sorry’.’
The woman said she was ‘just in shock really, happy that was it. I thought I was going to be raped. I don’t know what I thought really.’
The artist arrived at court flanked by his daughter, Bindi, left, wife, Alwen, right, and niece Jenny, far right
Afterwards the pair went back to the bar, where the woman told the court she had her photograph taken with Harris.
She said the entertainer squeezed her arm ‘really tight’ as the picture was taken.
‘It was as if it was an apology,’ the woman said.
The alleged victim is not named on the indictment because the claimed incident happened abroad before such crimes could be prosecuted in the UK, but has been called as a prosecution witness.
Harris, from Bray in Berkshire, is accused of 12 counts of indecent assault on four alleged victims between 1968 and 1986, all of which he denies.
Rolf Harris, seen arriving at Southwark Crown Court today, told an 11-year-old girl he wanted to be the first to give her a ‘tongue kiss’, a jury heard
He listened intently from the glass-walled dock, with wife Alwen and other family members including his niece and brother-in-law watching from the public gallery.
The court also heard from two other women who are supporting prosecution witnesses and were flown over from Australia and New Zealand to give evidence.
The first of these women told the jury of six men and six women that when she was 11, Harris told her that he wanted to be the first person to give her “a tongue kiss”.
The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said she met the artist at a family friend’s home in Darwin, Australia, in 1969 while she was off sick from school.
She came downstairs in her pyjamas and saw Harris, who had been polishing a piece of wood, the court heard.
The woman said: ‘When I came down the stairs he asked me how old I was, and he said ‘Good, I want to be the first one to introduce you to a tongue kiss’.
‘I just stood there, I didn’t think anything. I just stood there, I froze.’
It is claimed that Harris then walked up to the girl and kissed her, putting his tongue in her mouth.
She said he got her in a ‘gentle hug’ but that she could not move and was scared.
‘He put his tongue in my mouth and gave me a tongue kiss. It seemed like it lasted forever, but it must have been very quick,’ the woman said.
She is not one of the alleged victims on the indictment because the allegation is said to have happened abroad before such matters could be prosecuted in the UK, but has been called as a supporting prosecution witness.
The woman said: ‘I was quite repulsed by it. Absolutely repulsed.’
After the alleged abuse Harris stopped and showed her the wood he had been polishing, the court heard.
‘He just stopped and then he just went and said “Have a look at what I’ve been doing”.’
The court heard that she told ‘a couple of friends’ about her claims, but was not taken seriously.
‘They didn’t believe me and so I said nothing.’
She said that she had told each of her three husbands about the allegation, because it made her uncomfortable about being kissed in that way.
‘It makes me feel very frazzled and scared and I almost have a panic attack,’ the woman said.
‘I told them it’s because it’s a leftover from when I was a child and this happened to me.’
The court heard that the woman was assaulted by her cousin when she was 17, but was forbidden from reporting it by her parents.
Harris, pictured with his daughter, left, and niece, right, outside court last week, denies all the charges
‘I wanted to say something but my father wouldn’t allow me to. He said it wouldn’t be appropriate to say anything,’ she told the court. She said she had to ‘Suck it up and get on with it’.
Eventually her husband persuaded her to go to the police about the Harris claim, following media reports about the veteran entertainer.
In cross-examination, the woman said the incident with her cousin ‘triggered’ the memory of the alleged Harris abuse.
‘It triggered my memory to bring it up again,’ she said.
However the woman rejected a suggestion by Sonia Woodley QC, defending, that she had confused the incident with her cousin and the Harris claim.
In re-examination by prosecutor Sasha Wass QC, the woman said: ‘There’s no possibility I can mix them up. The incidents are very separate incidents. The feelings that come from them are similar feelings, but the incidents that happened are separate incidents.’
‘Charming one moment, the next trying to get his hand into my pants’: What another witness told Rolf Harris jurors
A second woman told the jury today that she saw ‘the dark side’ of Rolf Harris at a party in New Zealand in 1970
The court also heard from a woman who broke down as she said she saw ‘the dark side’ of Harris when he groped her as they danced.
Jurors were told that she was 16 or 17 and working for a wine company at a party in New Zealand in 1970 when she met the entertainer.
She said that she and another member of staff had photographs taken with Harris and his friend, and he gave her his autograph.
The woman said: ‘I thought it was quite special… He was a celebrity from television. I was quite honoured to see him coming through the door.’
Jurors were told that at first, Harris was ‘very friendly and very relaxed’, and was ‘being stupid’ posing for the pictures.
The woman went on: ‘He was very comfortable with himself, he was very confident, he was making everybody feel very relaxed.
‘He was the public Rolf Harris, the entertainer. A very big act. Very “Look at me”, laughing and joking.
‘I thought he was exactly what he was on television.’
But she told the court she was surprised when he signed an autograph ‘With my love’.
She said he then asked her to dance before fondling her, sliding his hand onto her bottom and putting it between her legs, the court heard.
Breaking down, the woman said: ‘We were dancing and we had had a photo taken, he was talking to me and I felt relaxed, comfortable. In a flash, in a moment…I saw the dark side of a man who I thought could be trusted.
‘I was in a public place, he slid his hand down my back against my bottom and then in a moment put his hand up my skirt and tried to put his hand in between my legs.’
After the woman felt Harris’ hand between her legs, she said she pushed him away and left the venue.
CHARGE SHEET: COUNTS FACED BY ROLF HARRIS IN SEX TRIAL
Count 1: Indecent assault between 5/4/80 and 4/4/81 on girl aged 15
Count 2: Indecent assault between 5/4/80 and 4/4/81 on same girl, 15
Count 3: Indecent assault between 5/4/80 and 4/4/81 on same girl, 15
Count 4: Indecent assault between 5/4/80 and 4/4/81 on same girl, 15
Count 5: Indecent assault between 5/4/80 and 4/4/81 on same girl, 15
Count 6: Indecent assault between 5/4/80 and 4/4/81 on same girl, 15
Count 7: Indecent assault between 1/1/84 and 1/1/85 on same girl, then aged 19
Count 8: Indecent assault on 31/5/86 on second girl, aged 14
Count 9: Indecent assault on same girl, 14
Count 10: Indecent assault on 31/5/86 on same girl, 14
Count 11: Indecent assault between 1/1/68 and 1/1/70 on third girl, aged 7-8
Count 12: Indecent assault on fourth girl, 14, between 1/1/75 and 1/1/76
The former television presenter denies all the counts
‘I pushed away, I was totally shocked. I pushed my hand down and pulled away and left him on the dance floor on his own,’ she told the court.
The woman said: ‘In my wildest dreams I didn’t expect that behaviour – from one moment being charming and what you see on the television, and the next moment to have his hand up my skirt trying to get into my pants. I was embarrassed.
‘I was embarrassed because of him touching me. I questioned myself. I didn’t say anything to him to encourage it.’
She went on: ‘I didn’t expect him to touch me, or to touch me in my most private area of my body.’
The woman told the jury that she informed her mother about what had happened the next day.
‘I told her what a disgusting, vile, repulsive man that he was and how he had totally taken away trust and the fact that he was a celebrity that he violated my trust.’
She did not consider going to the police because she did not think she would be believed, the court heard.
Later, in April last year after media reports that Harris had been questioned by police, she said she felt relieved.
She told the court: ‘I thought “They’ve finally got the bastard”.
‘It was all those years later but it was unbelievable the relief I felt.’
Later the woman got help from a journalist at Sky News Australia to contact police in the UK.
During heated cross-examination, the witness angrily insisted she was telling the truth.
Defence barrister Ms Woodley asked her to explain why she had said Harris ‘tried’ to put his hand up her skirt in an initial police statement.
The alleged victim told the barrister: ‘Don’t try to twist things please. I can clearly recall what happened.’
She went on: ‘I’m telling the truth. You are using words to try and make out as if something else happened.
‘I’m giving the full account of what happened, don’t make out it’s something different.
‘I have lived with this all of these years, I have recalled what happened over and over.’
She snapped at Ms Woodley: ‘How do you sleep at night?’, to which the barrister replied: ‘I have a job to do.’
The witness shot back: ‘I’m telling the truth – I would appreciate your respect.’
Harris had ‘an evil dark side’, the woman said, and she told the court she had kept his autograph and pictures from the day as a reminder to be ‘wary’ of trusting people.
The case continues.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2632647/Rolf-Harris-told-girl-11-wanted-person-tongue-kiss-grabbing-forcibly-kissing-walked-downstairs-pyjamas.html#ixzz32CFWeHKD
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