Rolf Harris 'Groomed Victim Like A Puppy,' Court Hears As Sex Abuse Trial Continues

Veteran entertainer Rolf Harris arrives with daughter Bindi (left) and wife Alwen at Southwark Crown Court, London where he faces charges of alleged indecent assaults on under-age girls.
Veteran entertainer Rolf Harris arrives with daughter Bindi (left) and wife Alwen at Southwark Crown Court, London where he faces charges of alleged indecent assaults on under-age girls.
Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

One of Rolf Harris's alleged victims was "groomed like a puppy" over a 15-year period starting when she was just 13, a court has heard.

Prosecutors made the allegation as the parents of the alleged victim took to the stand.

The alleged victim's mother told jurors that she recalled Harris coming to the family home to visit her daughter when she was a teenager.

She said that on one occasion she recalled him asking for the girl when she was aged about 14 or 15 and when she told him she was upstairs, he went up to see her for between half an hour and an hour.

Asked what she thought was happening up there, the woman said: "It was something that you didn't think about really."

She said she did not come to know about the alleged abuse until her daughter was an adult and she confronted her about her heavy drinking.

The woman, who sat down in the witness box to give her evidence, told the court: "She told me she had been abused all her life, which made me very angry."

Rolf Harris denies 12 counts of indecent assault

Explaining how the discussion started, she said: "I got very angry with her - with her drinking. I just said, 'You know, this is not on. This is ridiculous. You can't go on like this'.

"She got angry and then she said 'Oh, I've been abused all my life'."

The woman said she was "completely amazed" by what her daughter told her, although she would not say who the man was. She added: "But I would not budge until she told me. She then said, 'Rolf'."

The mother said she had "trusted" Harris but thought he was "boring."

Harris, 84, listened with the aid of a hearing loop from the dock at London's Southwark Crown Court where he is on trial for 12 charges of indecent assault between 1968 and 1986 - seven relating to the woman in question. The veteran entertainer denies all the charges.

The alleged victim's father said he felt "absolutely devastated and really couldn't believe it," when his daughter confided in him about the abuse.

He told jurors: "I wrote him a letter expressing my disgust and saying that I really didn't want to speak to him or have anything to do with him again.

"I really was very, very angry with him."

The court previously heard that Harris wrote the woman's father a letter in reply in 1997 in which he admitted they had a sexual relationship but said it was consensual and when she was of age.

The trial also heard he sent this letter to an alleged's victim's father

Asked about Harris's letter, in which the TV star begged for forgiveness and describes how he was "sickened" by the misery he had caused, the man said: "The thing that really struck me was that if the argument was that nothing took place before my daughter was 19, it seems to me that this was rather at odds with the content and the tone of the rest of the letter."

A former school friend of the victim said that when they were both aged around 16 she told her that Harris was a "dirty old man" who would make her sit on his lap so he could "feel her up".

The witness said she knew her friend spent time at Harris's home due to her friendship with his daughter, Bindi.

"He was very well known to everybody, I think," she told jurors. "He was a well-known and well-loved celebrity so he was very much well known to all of us."

"I just remember feeling quite horrified on her behalf that this had happened," she added.

The woman told the court her friend did not want to go to police with her allegations against Harris.

"Obviously she wasn't in a good place to be able to deal with it and she just knew it would be a bit of a media circus and she just didn't want to deal with it," she said.

The trial continues.

Rolf Harris, London 1966

Rolf Harris through the ages