Rolf Harris: Serial abuser and ex-entertainer dies aged 93
It has been confirmed that Rolf Harris died at the age of 93. He was jailed for a series of sexual assaults against girls.
Harris was found guilty in 2014 of a series of indecent attacks between 1968 and 1985. He was sentenced to five years and nine months in prison.
He was released in 2017 but never apologized for his crimes.
Harris was a popular family entertainer in Britain before his crimes were revealed.
A registrar from Maidenhead Town Hall confirmed his death to PA News Agency.
Harris’s family subsequently released a statement saying: “This is to confirm that Rolf Harris recently died peacefully surrounded by family and friends and has now been laid to rest.
“They ask that you respect their privacy. No further comment will be made.”
The cause of death is not yet known.
Following a trial at Southwark Crown Court, Harris was initially found guilty of 12 attacks on four girls, mainly in the 1970s and 1980s.
One conviction, relating to an allegation he indecently assaulted an eight-year-old girl, was later overturned. But the Court of Appeal judges dismissed his application to challenge the other 11 convictions.
The victims included two girls in their early teens and a friend of his daughter.
Before his crimes came to light, Harris had been a well-known figure in the entertainment industry in Britain and his native Australia for more than 50 years.
He arrived in London in 1952, aged 21, and went on to host a string of children’s TV and variety shows as well as series about animals and art. Harris painted a portrait of the late Queen to mark her 80th birthday in 2006.
During his career, he was made an OBE, MBE, and CBE and awarded a Bafta fellowship, but he was stripped of the honors following his convictions.
At his sentencing, the court heard he was a “sinister pervert”, who used his fame to get close to young women and girls.
“You have shown no remorse for your crimes at all,” the judge told him. “Your reputation now lies in ruins, but you have no one to blame but yourself.”
Harris served three years of his sentence at Stafford Prison in Staffordshire. After his release he returned to the home in Bray, Berkshire, he shared with his wife, Alwen – who he had married in 1958.
The couple had a daughter, Bindi.