"I felt his hand go down the back and up between my legs'

Rolf Harris.
Rolf Harris. INM

ROLF Harris groped a girl as young as seven as she queued excitedly for an autograph after he performed his hit song Two Little Boys at a community centre, a court heard today.

The woman, now aged in her 50s, claimed that the entertainer touched her "aggressively and forcefully" between her legs after he signed her piece of paper at the centre near Portsmouth, the court was told.

The woman - who gave evidence behind a screen - said that her "life changed that day" and later told members of her family that the entertainer was a "dirty old man" who had touched her as a child.

Asked about her memories, she said: "I can hear a song or something from that era and go straight back. I can shut my eyes and go straight back."

The incident was said to have happened between 1968 and 1970 when the girl got to the front of the queue of children to get the autograph. She said she was seven or eight at the time, Southwark Crown Court was told.

"He scared me because he was looking at me all the time. His eyes were fixed and I kind of backed away, and I sat on a chair trying to process what was going on and looking at him carrying on as if nothing had happened," the woman told the court.

"He was looking at me, smiling, and I was smiling, looking excited, and suddenly out of nowhere I felt his hand go down the back and up between my legs," the woman told the court.

She said she thought the first time might have been an accident, but claimed he did it a second time "aggressively".

"It was very quick," the woman said. "In fact so quick that I thought, 'what's happened?' The first time I thought, no, not deliberate. I thought, 'what's going on?', because there were a lot of people around and I didn't process what had happened.

"He seemed such a nice man, I thought probably it was just an accident," the woman said. "It didn't matter if it was going to hurt me or not. It felt very aggressive and I knew that it wasn't an accident," she said.

The woman, who is 52, said she thought, "Whoa, I just need to get away". Breaking down, she told the court she "wasn't the same child" after the alleged abuse.

When Harris was named as having been arrested under sex crimes inquiry Operation Yewtree in the Sun newspaper in April last year, she sent her husband a text message to say, "I told you so", the court heard.

Harris is accused of a total of 12 counts of indecent assault on four alleged victims between 1968 and 1986. He denies the charges.

The case continues

Topics:  editors picks operation yewtree pedophile rolf harris sexual assault

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