Rolf Harris believes he’ll be dead within a year as a retrial threatens another six years behind bars. Picture: AFP
Rolf Harris believes he’ll be dead within a year as a retrial threatens another six years behind bars. Picture: AFP

Harris nicknamed ‘groper Rolf’, says his accuser in court

ROLF Harris was known as "groper Rolf" by the family of a woman who says he assaulted her when she was 16, a London court heard.

The woman, who is now in her mid-50s, told Southwark Crown Court the Australian entertainer groped her at a celebrity event in Cambridge in England in 1978.

"He was called 'groper Rolf' in our house," the woman said under questioning by prosecutor Jonathan Rees QC.

"I've said he's a fraud, he's a groper, he's a dirty old man."

The 87-year-old Australian TV presenter is facing four counts of indecent assault against three teenage girls between 1971 and 1983. He denies all the charges.

The woman, who is one of the three alleged victims, told the court Harris assaulted her twice when she was working at the celebrity event called "Star Games".

Harris put his arm around her and groped her breast twice before trying to grab her crotch, the court heard.

She said the first time he touched her breast, she was not sure it was an accident but the second time he squeezed her and told her she was "a little bit irresistible".

"He squeezed my breast really hard," she said.

"My period was due and my breasts were very tender and it really hurt."

The woman said Harris later tried to touch her crotch when she travelled with him in a taxi as part of her work at the event.

Harris put his left hand on the inside of her left knee and moved it towards her crotch before she clamped her legs together and swore at him, she said.

"I told him to f*** off and leave me alone," she told the court.

"It was the first time I ever used the f-word towards an adult."

The woman said she was "shocked and confused" by Harris's actions.

"I certainly didn't flirt with him. He could have been my grandfather," she said.

She did not complain to the police at the time because even her father was dismissive when he heard what happened, the court was told.

After telling her father Harris was a "dirty old man" and had "a bit of a go", she said he replied: "you shouldn't have worn that tight pink jumper".

But the woman said she later told friends and family about the incident whenever Harris' name came up or he appeared on television.

When sexual abuse by former BBC star Jimmy Savile was revealed, she said she told others "Rolf Harris will be next because he groped me".

Under questioning by defence barrister Stephen Vullo QC, the woman denied manipulating witnesses to support her case.

She said she was initially reluctant to complain to police because she did not want to go through the "horrible" experience of being put on the witness stand.

At one point, the woman broke down when questioned by Harris's barrister about her mother's disapproval of the court case.

Harris watched the court proceedings by video link.

The trial before Judge Deborah Taylor is expected to last two weeks.

News Corp Australia

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