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

PUBLISHED: 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”.

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As the family of Westminster hero Pc Keith Palmer paid their tribute to him, the sister of the last Suffolk officer to die in the line of duty gave an insight into their long road ahead.

The leisure centre in Crown Street was closed for around an hour this morning after police were called to reports of two men behaving suspiciously inside.

Shopping in Ipswich is to get a welcome boost over the next few months as new stores open in the town centre.

A 62-year-old shoplifter has been given a 12-month conditional discharge after stealing groceries worth nearly £11.

An Ipswich man branded a ‘predator’ has been found guilty of trying to rape a woman as she waited for a train at a deserted Suffolk railway station.

An Ipswich man has been given a suspended sentence after frightening children with an imitation handgun.

A sinkhole measuring 6ft wide and 4ft deep trapped a car while a burst water main left a road “crumbling away” in Holbrook.

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