Statements, Written By Rolf Harris' Victims, Detailing Abuse Impact Read Out In Court
The victims of Rolf Harris have written statements detailing the long term impact of his abuse on their lives. The statements were read out today (4th July) in Southwark Crown Court before Harris' sentencing.
A number of Harris' victims wrote statements which were read out in court today (4th July) ahead of his sentencing. Harris was convicted of 12 counts of indecent assault charges on Monday (30th June) but the sentencing was postponed until today so medical reports could be gathered.
Rolf Harris arriving at Southwark Crown Court on Friday (4th July).
The statements, written by the victims, were read out in Southwark Crown Court ahead of sentencing. The victims described the impact Harris' assault had one their lives. All statements referenced the impact of Harris' indecent assault on the women's lives and how they had been changed and "haunted" by his actions.
The most prominent victim in the trial, an unnamed friend of Bindi, Harris' daughter, described how the prolonged series of assaults from the ages of 13-19 "had a detrimental effect" on her life. As the BBC reports, she further described the psychological effect of his assault, stating she felt "worthless" and "dirty, grubby and disgusting."
She emphasised the long term impact Harris' actions had upon her, stating "As a young girl I had aspirations to have a career, settle down and have a family. However, as a direct result of his actions, this has never materialised. The knowledge of what he had done to me haunted me."
Rolf Harris arriving at court surrounding by the awaiting press.
Similarly another victim, who was aged 7 or 8 at the time of the assault, said she had "carried" the memory of Harris' assault for her entire life. Whilst Tonya Lee, the only victim to have waived her right of anonymity, said "What Mr Harris took from me was my very essence. I believe that it was for Mr Harris a forgettable moment but it was something for me I will never move on from." She added "I know the person I am today is not the person I should have been."
It has also been revealed, as the Guardian reports, that 84-year-old Harris viewed websites containing indecent images of children. At the initial hearing, Harris' lawyers successful convinced the judge to consider the four counts of 'making' indecent images a separate issue; effectively meaning the charges would not be considered in the assault trial if at all. Since Harris was convicted on Monday, the Crown Prosecution Service has decided it is not in the public interest to prosecute Harris on these charges.
Rolf Harris with his wife Alwen and Bindi last week outside court.