[QODLink]
Europe

UK court sentences entertainer for sex abuse

Australian-born Rolf Harris faces prospect of spending rest of his life behind bars for sexual abuse of young girls.

Last updated: 04 Jul 2014 20:24
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Harris was arrested as part of a police investigation into sexual abuse by a number of celebrities [AP]

Australian-born entertainer Rolf Harris has been sentenced in London to five years and nine months in prison for the sexual abuse of young girls.

Following the sentence pronounced on Friday, the 84-year-old now faces the possibility of spending the rest of his life behind bars.

Just hours after Harris was taken to jail, the sentence was referred to the British attorney general's office for investigation as being unduly lenient.

Harris is a British entertainment stalwart who hosted television shows in the 1970s, and even painted an official portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, performing at her Diamond Jubilee concert.

He was arrested as part of a police investigation into historic sexual abuse by a number of celebrities, including the late BBC host Jimmy Savile.

Girls aged from seven

Harris was convicted of 12 counts of abuse that took place from the 1960s to the 1980s that involved girls as young as seven or eight.

Harris's lawyer, Sonia Woodley, citing his age and ill health, argued he had already been punished and shamed enough.

But British Judge Nigel Sweeny said Harris showed no remorse for what he described as a breach of trust.

Speaking outside court, the representative of Harris's youngest victim read out a letter written by the victim's brother.

"After these cameras have been dismantled and the media circus has rolled on to another town, it will still be with her as it will with the other girls," she said.

Harris's trial shocked Britain and Australia and has prompted new allegations against him to emerge.

Police are investigating the new claims.

261

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Since she was 16-years-old, Scottish Nationalist Party's Sturgeon has strove for independence from the UK.
Armed group's ransom success with German hostages marks a re-emergence, as authorities investigate ISIL links.
Western nations are moving into the resource-rich country after decades of disinterest, challenging China's interests.