May 18, 2024

Brighton Journal

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Rolf Harris: Serial offender and former entertainer dies at 93

Rolf Harris: Serial offender and former entertainer dies at 93
  • By Michael Shils McNamee
  • BBC News

Former entertainer Rolf Harris, who was imprisoned for a series of indecent assaults on girls, has died at the age of 93.

Harris was found guilty of a series of indecent assaults between 1968 and 1986 after a trial in 2014 – and jailed for five years and nine months.

He was released from prison in 2017 – but he never apologized to his victims.

Before his crimes came to light, Harris was a staple of Britain’s family entertainment.

According to his death certificate, which was registered on Tuesday, he died of neck cancer and “geriatric frailty” at his home in Bray, Berkshire, on 10 May.

A statement issued by his family read: “This confirms that Rolf Harris recently passed away peacefully surrounded by family and friends and is now buried.

“They ask that you respect their privacy. No further comment will be made.”

After a trial at Southwark Crown Court, Harris was initially found guilty of 12 attacks on four girls, mainly in the 1970s and 1980s.

One of the convictions, related to his allegation of indecent assault of an eight-year-old girl, was later overturned. But appeals court judges rejected his request to appeal 11 other convictions.

Among the victims were two girls in their early teens and a friend of his daughter’s.

Queen’s photo

Before his crimes came to light, Harris was a well-known figure in the entertainment industry in Britain and his native Australia for more than 50 years.

The judge told him, “You showed absolutely no remorse for your crimes.” Your reputation is now in ruins, but you have no one to blame but yourself.

Harris served three years of his sentence at Stafford Prison in Staffordshire. After his release, he returned home to Bray, Berkshire, and shared it with his wife, Alwyn – whom he married in 1958.

The couple had a daughter, Bindi.