The disgraced TV stair Rolf Harris, 88, was forced to hide his face behind a set of paintings after he was verbally abused by road workers as he walked through the streets.
The Rolf Harris case
Over the past few years, we have witnessed the trial of Rolf Harris – at one time a national treasure, but those days are long, long gone.
Four years ago, Rolf Harris was sentenced to five years and nine months in prison for a string of indecent assaults.
Mr Justice Sweeney said that the long-time TV star had shown no remorse as he sentenced the then 84-year-old Australian entertainer at Southwark Crown Court for 12 counts of indecent assault.
In his remarks after the final verdict was set down, according to an article in The Independent, the judge said: “the musician had been a star for over 50 years and noted that he is no longer in the best of health, but said the verdicts of the jury showed he was ‘also a sex offender’ between 1968 and 1986, whose ‘reputation lies in ruins’.”
He also said that Harris had taken advantage of the trust placed in him because of his celebrity status, as he added: “You clearly got a thrill from committing offences while others were nearby.”
It was reported that throughout the trial, Harris showed “no remorse at all”, and continued by telling him: “You have been stripped of your honours, you have nobody to blame but yourself”.
At the trial, Harris remained emotionless in the docks as he listened to the judge’s comments.
Ahead of the sentencing, the court heard of the damaging effects that Rolf Harris’ actions had on his victims, with the former friend of his daughter Bindi describing how the attacks made her feel “dirty, grubby and disgusting”, and that his actions led to her developing a drinking problem from an early age.
“As a young girl I had aspirations to have a career, settle down and have a family,” she said.
“However, as a direct result of his actions, this has never materialised.
“The knowledge of what he had done to me haunted me. However, his popularity with the British public made it harder for me to deal with.”
The judge also commented in his sentencing remarks that he was in “no doubt” that Harris’ crimes had caused her “severe psychological harm.”
Another victim, who was assaulted by Harris when she visited England as a teenager, said that the incident was a “turning point” in her life from which she never recovered.
In her Victim Impact Statement, she said: “I have never felt safe since, I live in a constant state of anxiety.”
Rolf Harris hiding behind paintings
He served three of those years in prison, and after being released, Rolf Harris was seen recently as he was walking near his Bray, Berkshire home.
An eyewitness to the incident said: “Rolf looked pretty worried and tried to cover his face with two paintings he was carrying.
“He looked very shaken up. More people noticed him because of the commotion and then he got even more abuse.”
“It’s safe to say no one was happy to see him.”
One of the road workers, 35, said: “He should not be walking around as brazen as he was. The fact that he is hiding his face shows his guilt, he knows he did wrong, shame on him.”
His work mate, 25, added: “He hid behind paintings he was carrying. He didn’t like being recognised. He should be keeping his head down. He is a wrong ‘un, out of order and shouldn’t be walking the streets.”
Not the first time he has been spotted out
Though Harris was seen hiding behind paintings as he had abuse shouted at him in the streets, it wasn’t the first time he has been spotted in the streets.
In March of last year, while still serving his sentence, Harris was driven 18 miles from the Category C Prison HMP Stafford to see a medic.
Still wearing his blue prison uniform with a grey topcoat, the convicted abuser was flanked by two prison guards as he walked from the prison van and into Wolverhampton’s New Cross Hospital.
After being spotted by members of the public, he kept his eyes fixed to the ground and tried to hide his face with a paperback book.
One member of the public spotted Harris when he arrived at the hospital at the same time to take his mum for routine tests.
He said: “We saw him leaving the van and both said together, ‘That looks like Rolf Harris’. We were gobsmacked.
“He was staring at the floor, then acted as if he was studying the cover of his book.
“He obviously did not want to be recognised, but everyone knows his face with that hair and beard and he stuck out like a sore thumb.
“When he realised he’d been spotted he suddenly held the book up to cover his face.” After his appointment, the didgeridoo star was driven back up the M6 to his cell.
Another local said: “His face looked beetroot purple as he arrived, but prison hadn’t changed his features at all.”
Harris’ weird summer solstice party
Harris was in the news recently after he hosted a strange party at his mansion to celebrate the summer solstice.
The convicted sex offender hosted what was called a Mid-Summer Night’s Dream party to mark the longest day of the year.
It was reported that guests wore masks, danced around a maypole and removed their socks and shoes in an effort to “connect with the earth.”
According to The Sun: “Harris blew a goat horn and rode around on a broomstick with a papier-maché donkey head. A bemused onlooker said they had ‘never seen anything like it’.”
The onlooker also described how the disgraced former star engaged in “pagan-style” rituals with his wife Alwen, daughter Bindi and some of the 70 guests invited to the party.
One guest was shocked by the “odd atmosphere”, saying: “You walked into the garden and you were confronted with Rolf, cavorting around with the broomstick between his legs which had some kind of a papiermaché donkey head stuck on the end of it.
“It was bonkers. The eeriest part of the evening, by far, were the masks.
“They made us all wear them so that we didn’t know who we were talking to.
“No-one had seen anything like it. It was all a bit hippy dippy really. The whole place looked like some pagan-style zoo. Utterly mad.
“I’ve been to a lot of dinner parties in my time, but I’ve never had the host insist that I take both my shoes and my socks off before.”