Rolf Harris pleads not guilty to sexual assault

NICK MILLER
Last updated 06:41 15/01/2014
Rolf Harris
Getty Images
DENYING CHARGES: Entertainer Rolf Harris (left) arrives at Southwark Crown Court in London with security guards, before entering a not guilty plea on sexual assault charges.

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Australian entertainer Rolf Harris has pleaded not guilty to 12 charges of sexual assault.

He appeared at Southwark Crown Court in London before Justice Sweeney.

Harris, 83, stood before the court and in a firm voice said "not guilty" when each charge was detailed.

The alleged assaults took place between 1968 and 1986. One girl was aged 7 or 8, the others 14, 15 and 19.

He has not yet been asked to plead on four counts of obtaining indecent images.

Minutes before the hearing Harris appeared in good health and good spirits, humming a tune to himself as he pushed his wife Alwen's wheelchair through the court corridors.

He was accompanied by an eight-strong entourage of family and friends including Alwen and his daughter Bindi - plus a security detail of men in grey suits.

In August, Harris was charged with nine counts of indecent assault.

Last month prosecutors said they had added another three assault counts, two relating to two new complainants.

His lawyer indicated in court in September he intended to plead not guilty to the initial 13 allegations.

The allegations were investigated as part of Operation Yewtree, launched after the Jimmy Savile scandal, however they are not linked to Savile.

Harris is on bail on condition he does not contact witnesses, lives at home in Berkshire and does not spend time with anyone under 18 without adult supervision.

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- FFX Aus

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