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Rolf Harris will not testify at sexual assault trial

Rolf Harris

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JULIA QUENZLER

Former TV star Rolf Harris will not give evidence at his second trial, his defence team has said.

The 86-year-old denies seven charges of indecent assault and one of sexual assault on victims aged between 12 and 42, from 1971 to 2004.

Opening the defence case at his trial at London’s Southwark Crown Court, Stephen Vullo QC said Harris did not have much evidence to add.

He also said the jury that convicted Harris of assaults in 2014 was wrong.

That jury found him guilty of a series of indecent assaults on four female victims.

‘Cannot remember being there’

The veteran entertainer is following proceedings via video-link from prison.

Mr Vullo pointed out some of the alleged offences in the current trial went back four decades, and said calling the defendant would not help a great deal.

“If the defendant can say no more to you than ‘I cannot remember being there’, the evidential importance of giving evidence is actually quite weak,” he said.

He added: “What do we say about trial one? In short, we say that the jury got it wrong in the first trial.

“We don’t say that lightly, we have enormous faith in the jury system.

“But no system is infallible. It is enough for you to say they got it wrong.”

‘Here for trial two’

Harris maintains his innocence and has pleaded not guilty to assaulting seven girls and women in a series of “brazen” attacks spanning 30 years, the most recent in 2004, the court has heard.

Mr Vullo told the jury that part of the evidence would relate to Harris’s first trial, but that they should focus on the latest allegations.

He said: “Trial one is and will remain a side issue for you, because you are here for trial two.

“It is our fault because we are going to be calling evidence in respect of trial one and shifting your focus to what happened in trial one, if it’s right or wrong.”

He added: “It is important what happened in trial one – but it is not crucial.”

The case continues.

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