Rolf Harris sentence 'unduly lenient'

JULIAN DRAPE
Last updated 08:07 05/07/2014

Rolf Harris jailed for nearly six years

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Rolf Harris' prison sentence has been referred to the UK attorney-general as possibly being unduly lenient.

Dominic Grieve was asked to look at Harris's prison term of five years and nine months just hours after it was handed down last night at Southwark Crown Court.

A spokesman for the attorney-general's office said anybody could request a review including the Crown Prosecution Service or members of the public.

"I can confirm the sentence handed to Rolf Harris today has been referred to the attorney-general's office under the unduly lenient sentence scheme," another spokesman said in a statement.

"It only takes one person to trigger the process."

The attorney-general now has 28 days to decide whether or not to refer Harris' sentence to the Court of Appeal.

It could increase the length of time Harris will spend in jail or leave his sentence unchanged.

As it stands the 84-year-old is likely to serve less than three years in jail for indecently assaulting four girls who were left feeling "disgusting", "worthless" and robbed of their innocence.

Harris was sentenced to five years and nine months for 12 indecent assaults, however Justice Nigel Sweeney said he would serve half that time.

That means the convicted sexual predator could be released in less than three years.

The 84-year-old Australian artist and entertainer showed no reaction when he heard the sentence.

Justice Sweeney said the unanimous verdicts on Monday showed Harris "was a sex offender".

"You took advantage of the trust placed in you because of your celebrity status," the judge said.

"You got a thrill from committing the offences while others were present or nearby."

Justice Sweeney said Harris had shown no remorse for the crimes "at all".

"Your reputation lies in ruins," he said.

"You have no one to blame but yourself."

Harris was immediately driven away in a prison van to Wandsworth prison in south west London.

He will then be transferred at a later date to a lower-security facility.

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- AAP

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