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Rolf Harris: Serial abuser and ex-entertainer dies aged 93

Rolf Harris: Serial abuser and ex-entertainer dies aged 93

Disgraced former entertainer Rolf Harris, who was jailed for a series of indecent assaults on girls, has died aged 93.

Harris was found guilty of a string of indecent assaults between 1968 and 1986 following a trial in 2014 - and was jailed for five years and nine months.

He was released from prison in 2017 - but never apologised to his victims.

Before his crimes came to light, Harris had been a fixture of family entertainment in Britain and Australia.

According to his death certificate, which was registered on Tuesday, he died of neck cancer and "frailty of old age" at his home in Bray, Berkshire, on 10 May.

A statement released by his family said: "This is to confirm that Rolf Harris recently died peacefully surrounded by family and friends and has now been laid to rest.

"They ask that you respect their privacy. No further comment will be made."

Following a trial at Southwark Crown Court, Harris was initially found guilty of 12 attacks on four girls, mainly in the 1970s and 1980s.

One conviction, relating to an allegation he indecently assaulted an eight-year-old girl, was later overturned. But Court of Appeal judges dismissed his application to challenge the other 11 convictions.

The victims included two girls in their early teens and a friend of his daughter.

Queen's portrait

Before his crimes came to light, Harris had been a well-known figure in the entertainment industry in Britain and his native Australia for more than 50 years.

He arrived in London in 1952, aged 21, and went on to host a string of children's TV and variety shows as well as series about animals and art. Harris painted a portrait of the late Queen to mark her 80th birthday in 2006.

Harris was also well known for a number of hit songs, including Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport; Two Little Boys and a cover of Led Zeppelin's Stairway to Heaven.

During his career he was made an OBE, MBE and CBE and awarded a Bafta fellowship, but he was stripped of the honours following his convictions.

At his sentencing, the court heard he was a "sinister pervert", who used his fame to get close to young women and girls.

"You have shown no remorse for your crimes at all," the judge told him. "Your reputation now lies in ruins, but you have no one to blame but yourself."

Harris served three years of his sentence at Stafford Prison in Staffordshire. After his release he returned to the home in Bray, Berkshire, he shared with his wife, Alwen - who he had married in 1958.

The couple had a daughter, Bindi.


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