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Thursday, 17 March 2016

Rolf Harris Faces New Sex Charges

Disgraced entertainer Rolf Harris, who is currently imprisoned after being found guilty of twelve counts of indecent assault, was back before the court today to respond to seven additional counts of the same offence.

The 85-year-old former entertainer appeared via videolink at Westminster Magistrates' Court in connection with a string of alleged offences, said to have occurred between 1971 and 2004. The seven complainants were aged between 12 and 27-years-old at the time of the alleged offences.

Of particular note, is the fact that Harris is accused of committing two of those offences at BBC Television Centre. The first, in 1983, involved the alleged molestation of a 13-year-old girl. The second, in 2004, involved the alleged indecent assault of a 24-year-old woman.

Harris' barrister, Stephen Vullo QC, had asked the court to summarise the charges against his client, instead of reading out the full details to the "media circus" gathered at the back of the courtroom. District Judge (MC) Quentin Purdy rejected Mr Vullo's request, highlighted the fact it was a public hearing and as such the charges should be read in full.

Harris submitted a plea of not guilty to each of the seven counts before the court.

Given the severity of the alleged offences, District Judge Purdy sent the matter to Southwark Crown Court to be dealt with. Harris will next appear before that court on 14th April 2016.

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