Former entertainer and convicted criminal Rolf Harris has been found not guilty on three additional charges, including one charge of sexual assault and two charges of indecent assault. Harris is already serving a prison sentence for assaults on three different women.
After 26 hours of deliberation, the jury was only able to secure a majority verdict on three of the seven charges Harris was accused of. It was divided on the other four.
Judge Alistair McCreath decided it was unlikely the jury would come to a verdict on the other four charges, so he dismissed them. Prosecutors have a week to decide whether they will pursue a retrial.
The prosecution’s central claim in conjunction with the presented evidence was that Harris obviously had a propensity for committing indecent assaults, given that he was serving time for exactly that. The defence, on the other hand, pointed out holes in the accusers’ stories. As per defence barrister Stephen Vullo:
There are questions that are simply not answered by lapse of memory or being slightly inconsistent. When you hear a body of evidence that makes no sense when you put it together … there’s a reason for that and the usual reason is that it’s not true.
Lawyers are expected to return to the court next Wednesday.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald.
Photo: Getty Images / Oli Scarff.