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UK: Rolf Harris guilty of 12 sex assaults on four women

15:20 30 June 2014

Rolf Harris with his CBE in 2006. Photo: Jordan/PA Wire

Rolf Harris with his CBE in 2006. Photo: Jordan/PA Wire

Veteran entertainer Rolf Harris saw his decades in the spotlight end in disgrace today as he was found guilty of indecent assault.

The 84-year-old, once a much-loved artist and musician, was convicted at Southwark Crown Court of 12 sex charges involving four women.

His army of supporters, including suited security guards and representatives from PR giant Bell Pottinger who attended every day of the trial, could do nothing to change the verdict of the jury of six men and six women.

Once seen by a UK audience as a national treasure, Harris had enjoyed years of success, netting him a multi-million pound fortune and the chance to paint the Queen.

But the downfall of an entertainer who was part of millions of British childhoods came today, as Harris became the biggest scalp claimed by detectives from high profile sex crime investigation Operation Yewtree.

Dozens more alleged victims have come forward during the trial, including several in Australia, and Scotland Yard has been in touch with their counterparts in the Australian police, but it is not yet clear whether they are pursuing any investigation in Harris’s home country.

The NSPCC said it has received 28 calls relating to Harris to date, involving 13 people who claim they fell prey to the performer.

The performer was released on bail until Friday when he will be sentenced.

Justice Sweeney warned the 84-year-old that given the conviction on all 12 counts it was “inevitable” that a custodial sentence would be possible.

“He must understand that”, he said, to which Harris’s barrister Sonia Woodley replied: “He does appreciate that”.

Two boys with “hearts of gold” will be handed a BBC Radio 1 teen hero award for their charity work in Sudbury on Sunday, following the death of their close friend when he was just 13.

Detectives have said they have not given up in their quest to find the body of alleged Suffolk double murder victim Sylvia Stuart.

Rail company Greater Anglia has unveiled a new weapon in its battle against problems caused by leaves on the line during the autumn.

Firefighters in Ipswich were called to tackle a fire that had broken out across three garages in Richmond Road this afternoon.

An abandoned van has been seized by police searching for missing RAF Honington serviceman Corrie McKeague, aged 23.

Two speeding motorists who admitted driving at 130mph in Suffolk have been disqualified from driving.

Suffolk police officers are attempting to trace a group seen talking to Corrie McKeague at a pizza takeaway on the night of his disappearance.

Traffic delays on the A14 near the Orwell Bridge in Ipswich have been caused by a crash involving a lorry and a car.

A four-month-old baby was snatched from his mother’s arms by the family dog and mauled to death, an inquest has heard.

A man in his 30s is in hospital with serious injuries after a crash Stowmarket last night.

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