Rolf Harris challenges indecent assault convictions

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Disgraced entertainer Rolf Harris has applied for permission to appeal against his convictions for a string of indecent assaults.

A spokesman for the Judicial Office confirmed that lawyers for the 84-year-old had lodged papers at the Court of Appeal.

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

The court will now consider whether to grant permission for him to continue with his appeal bid.

Harris, a family favourite for decades, was finally unmasked as a predator who was fixated with under-age girls during his trial, with jurors told how 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 around the world.

His fall from grace was underlined as he was stripped of a Bafta fellowship and accolades in his native Australia were removed, and he also faces losing his prestigious CBE, which he was awarded in 2006.

The performer’s multi-million pound fortune is also at risk from potential compensation claims.

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

Earlier this week the Attorney-General’s Office confirmed that the sentence would not be referred to the Court of Appeal for being unduly lenient.

Attorney General Jeremy Wright decided not to take action despite his office receiving 150 complaints about the leniency of Harris’s sentence, although it only takes one complaint to trigger the review process.

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