UK

Rolf Harris Won't Get To Appeal His Sex Conviction

31/10/2014 17:09 GMT | Updated 31/10/2014 17:59 GMT
ASSOCIATED PRESS
Veteran entertainer Rolf Harris leaves the Southwark Crown Court in London, Monday, June 30, 2014. A jury Monday found Australian-born Harris guilty of 12 counts of indecent assault.The 84-year-old was convicted of indecent assault on four victims aged 19 or under between 1968 and 1986. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

Disgraced entertainer Rolf Harris has lost the first round of his bid to appeal against his convictions for a string of indecent assaults.

A spokesman for the Judicial Office confirmed today that a judge has refused his application for permission to appeal.

But it is still open to the 84-year-old to renew the application before three judges at the Court of Appeal.

The artist and musician was convicted of 12 indecent assaults at London's Southwark Crown Court on June 30 - one on an eight-year-old autograph hunter, two on girls in their early teens, and a catalogue of abuse against his daughter's friend over 16 years.

The appeal move was refused by a single judge considering the application on the case papers.

Harris, a family favourite for decades, was finally unmasked during his trial as a predator who was fixated with under-age girls.

Jurors were told that his 16-year campaign of sex abuse against his daughter's friend ''haunted'' her and made her abandon her dreams as he continued to be adored by millions of fans worldwide.

His fall from grace was underlined as he was stripped of a Bafta fellowship and accolades in his native Australia were removed.

Harris was jailed for five years and nine months for the sex abuse, meaning he is due to serve just under three years for the crimes, which took place between 1968 and 1986.

Liz Dux, abuse lawyer at Slater & Gordon, who represents victims of Rolf Harris, said: "The victims will be very relieved. They have already been through the horrific ordeal of a long and extremely stressful trial.

"They want this over so they can get on with their lives as best they can, although for some the damage Harris has done will sadly be irreparable.

"We must not forget the very serious nature of the crimes Harris committed. Justice has rightly been done and the victims will be pleased at the outcome."