Rolf Harris "Groomed and Molested" Friend of Daughter, Court Hears [Pictures]
Rolf Harris is charged with 12 counts of abuse.
The popular children's entertainer Rolf Harris groomed and molested a friend of his daughter from the age of 13 onward, Southwark Crown Court has heard. Mr Harris is accused of indecently assaulting the unnamed girl, and three other girls, between 1968 and 1986, reports BBC News.
Rolf Harris Arriving at Southwark Crown Court
The court heard that the girl used alcohol to cope from the age of 14 and was abused by Mr Harris until she was 29. Harris, 84 - described as a "Jekyll and Hyde" character - denies all 12 charges.
In court on Friday, the court was read a letter Mr Harris is said to have written to the victim's father in 1997, asking for forgiveness. The jury was told Mr Harris wrote that the woman had confronted him about the abuse.
"[She] told me she had been terrified of me," he is said to have written. "I said why didn't you just say no? She said to me: 'How could I say no to the great television star Rolf Harris?'"
Prosecuting Sasha Wass QC said Mr Harris "accepts that he's had a sexual relationship with her, but avoids admitting that it took place while she was under age."
Southwark court heard how Harris abused the girl while on holiday with the family, as well as in her home, and his.
Mr Wass said the girl was groomed "a young puppy who had been trained to obey." She said the assaults continued "when the opportunity arose" and that by the time she was 14, she was relying on alcohol to cope.
Ms Wass added: "The prosecution does not, for a minute, suggest that there is not a good, talented and kind side to Mr Harris.
"But concealed behind this charming and amicable children's entertainer lay a man who exploited the very children who were drawn to him."
She added there was "a side of him which is sexually attracted to children and under-age girls."
Mr Harris arrived at court accompanied by his daughter Bindi and wife Alwen Hughes. He had entered a plea of not guilty in January.
Rolf Harris with his wife and daughter at Southwark Crown Court
Rolf Harris Helps His Wife at Southwark Crown Court
Rolf Harris arrives at Southwark Crown Court
Rolf Harris arriving in court on Friday