Rolf Harris cleared of three sex charges in second trial

Disgraced entertainer Rolf Harris has been cleared of three sex charges.
Rolf HarrisRolf Harris
Rolf Harris

A jury took just under a week to find the 86-year-old Australian not guilty of three of the seven alleged assaults said to have taken place over four decades, following a second trial at London's Southwark Crown Court.

Harris is currently in jail following a 2014 trial which saw him convicted of 12 sex offences against four female victims, one aged as young as seven or eight.

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But his defence team claimed the jury in the first trial had "got it wrong" and that the media frenzy had "without doubt made him vulnerable to people making accusations against him".

The pensioner declined to give evidence at his second trial, instead silently watching proceedings first on video from Stafford prison and then later from the dock with a hearing loop.

Harris, wearing a pale blue shirt, suit and patterned tie, showed no reaction as the not guilty verdicts were read out by the jury forewoman.

Judge Alistair McCreath discharged the jury from deliberating on the further four counts he is accused of.

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The prosecution team asked for one week to decide if they will apply for a retrial.

The jury took 26 hours and 16 minutes to clear Harris of two charges of indecent assault and one of sexual assault.

The seven women and five men found he was not guilty of indecently assaulting a young autograph hunter when she visited him at a radio station in Portsmouth with her mother at the end of the 1970s.

It also cleared him of groping a blind, disabled woman at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London in 1977.

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And he was also cleared the most recent charge he was accused of - sexually assaulting a woman in her 40s after the filming of a television show in 2004.

Judge McCreath told Harris he must be present for a hearing next Wednesday, but not necessarily in person, to which he replied: "Thank you."

During the trial, Stephen Vullo QC, defending, asked the jury to consider whether the complainants had come forward simply to claim compensation.

A number of complainants denied being motivated by possible financial gain, but were seeking justice.

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He is accused of putting his hand up the skirt of a 14-year-old girl at a youth music event at London's Lyceum Theatre as she went to get an autograph in 1971.

Another alleged victim was a teenager helping on the TV programme Star Games in summer 1978, who claims he grabbed her breast and slid his hand between her legs until he made contact with her crotch over her jeans.

Harris also allegedly asked a 13-year-old girl, "Do you often get molested on a Saturday morning?", as he slid his hand under her clothed breast after a children's TV show in 1983.

He is also accused of making a sexual comment while stroking the bare skin of a 19-year-old's lower back at a music studio near London Bridge in 2002.

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Harris was remanded in custody until next week's hearing, when it will be decided if he is to be retried.

His defence team said he is expected to be automatically released from prison for the sentence he is currently serving on July 19.