- The Justice MinisterMinistry of Justice
The trial of Mr Rolf Harris at Southwark Crown Court. I respectfully relate to you my deep concerns of the verdicts given by the jury in the case detailed above. I ask that the case be reviewed as a matter of urgency.
The integrity of the UK criminal justice system has fallen into 'Kangaroo Court' style persecutions due to the 'I believe you' edict of sexual abuse allegations. The 'I believe you' edict of our justice system must be reversed and replaced with objective and neutral investigation. Even juries are told by judges to 'believe' what is obviously untrue because of these crude and archaic guidelines, resulting in miscarriages of justice and innocent people imprisoned.
Rolf Harris was tried at Southwark Crown Court enduring four trials at once. There were four accusers and a total of twelve charges.
Tonya Lee had already sold her story to a magazine so had a financial interest in sticking to the already published story. In court the story was shown to contain serious falsehoods and she admitted that she lied to the police. Despite this Mr Harris was found guilty.
The alleged Leigh Park community centre assault was alleged to have been done at a time when Mr Harris was in fact in another part of the country, and this can be easily proved. A police search for evidence that Mr Harris had appeared at the community centre at this time confirmed that he had never appeared there at all. The police admitted in court that they had NO EVIDENCE that he had even been there, but despite this Mr Harris was found guilty.
The Cambridge celebrity It's a Knockout allegation was made by a woman who claimed she was thirteen/fourteen at the time of the assault. The assault happened in public and yet nobody saw it happen. Mid trial she changed this story to fit an appearance Mr Harris had made at a Star Games event, three years later. She changed her age to sixteen/seventeen and the location miles away from the site of the original allegation. Despite this Mr Harris was found guilty.
Mr Harris admitted a consensual affair with a woman younger than him but of consenting age. It was shown that this woman had attempted to blackmail him after asking him for £25000 and there was no evidence to show that any under age abuse took place as she later claimed. Despite this Mr Harris was found guilty.
Mr Harris was convicted of all twelve counts after the jury were told by the trial judge to 'recognise a RED HERRING when you see one and ignore it'; but the prosecution barrister had told the jury in her closing speech that Mr Harris' explanations and denials were RED HERRINGS. Was the judge summing up on behalf of the prosecution by effectively telling the jury to ignore Mr Harris denials and explanations? This was a gross burden of bias given to the jury by the trial judge who was supposed to have summed up impartially.
Criminal justice must be based on truth and not the 'I believe' edicts that allows any person to make any claim of abuse against any person and be believed; with cases going to court despite there being evidence contrary to the claims and the resultant miscarriages of justice.
Mr Harris has been denied a right to appeal and this travesty of justice must be urgently reviewed and his right of appeal allowed.
- Ministry of Justice
The Justice Minister
The trial of Mr Rolf Harris at Southwark Crown Court.
I respectfully relate to you my deep concerns of the verdicts given by the jury in the case detailed
above. I ask that the case be reviewed as a matter of urgency because of the serious probability that an
innocent man has been subjected to a grave miscarriage of justice on all counts of the trial.
It was the jury's duty to convict on evidence applying the UK justice systems test of Beyond Reasonable
Doubt, and they didn't! They appeared convict on balance of probability, which is not a legal test. It is
a test dependant on chance.
COUNT ONE – VERDICT: GUILTY
“The woman said she was aged seven or eight when she queued to get an autograph from Harris at a
community centre in Hampshire in 1968 or 1969. When she reached the front of the queue, Harris had
touched her inappropriately with his “big hairy hands”, she told the jury.
The court heard that no evidence could be found that Mr Harris had been at the community centre. He
also showed his hands to the jury and they were NOT hairy.”
No evidence could be found that Mr Harris had been at the community centre and an extensive police
search turned nothing up. They searched local newspaper archives between January 1967 and May
1974, council records and even conducted letter drops appealing for witnesses. The police found
nothing, not a single piece of independent evidence that he was ever there!
It is hard to see how the uncorroborated recollection of an event alleged to have happened 45 years
ago, when the witness was eight, can constitute proof beyond reasonable doubt. In fact it cannot!
As a principle of justice it is absurd that anyone can be convicted simply on the unsupported “evidence”
of someone else accusing him or her of a crime.
COUNT TWO – VERDICT: GUILTY
Another woman said she had been working as a waitress, at the age of 13 or 14, at a charity event in
Cambridge in 1975 when Harris had put his arm around her shoulder.
“To start, it was a very nervous but a good feeling,” she said. “However his hand then moved and his
hand went up and down my back and his hand went over my bottom and it was very firm.”
Again there are only uncorroborated allegations.
Rolf Harris said that he had never been to Cambridge and that this was shown to be a false statement,
for many this was the silver bullet that proved his guilt. But, failures of memory are not proof of
Rolf Harris is 84 years old and has been in show business for 60+years. He has been all over the
country for various events and it is not at all unreasonable for an 84 year old man to forget having been
somewhere 40 years previously.
Indeed Crime Watch presenter Sue Cook admitted she had forgotten being in the same show.
The show actually took place in 1978, three years after the alleged indecent assault incident.
This would make the alleged victim 16 or 17 not the child of 13 claimed. If the accuser cannot
remember whether she was a child of 13 or a teenager of 17 showing the accuser as having a failure of
She also got the location wrong:
“The alleged victim had suggested the event had taken place on Parker’s Piece, a large green in the
centre of Cambridge.”
The show was actually filmed on Jesus Green a much larger, wooded park about a 6 minute drive
So the accuser couldn’t remember when it happened (or how old she was), she couldn’t remember
where it happened and yet the jury found her 36 year old memory of the indecent assault to be
evidence beyond a reasonable doubt! This cannot be allowed to stand.
In the absence of any corroborating evidence and inconsistencies in the accusers testimony there has to
be a reasonable doubt in favour of the accused.
COUNTS THREE TO NINE – VERDICTS: GUILTY
Seven of the 12 charges related to a childhood friend of Harris’s daughter Bindi. Six charges related to
alleged abuse when she was aged between 13 and 15, and the seventh to when she was 19.
The court heard that the abuse began when she had been on holiday with the Harris family at the age
of 13. Later, the woman said Harris had performed a sex act on her at the Harris family home, with
Bindi asleep in the same room.
Further assaults took place at the Harris home and in her bedroom at her own home while her parents
were downstairs, she said.
The convicted celebrity admitted having a sexual relationship with the woman – but stressed that it had
been consensual and had begun after she had turned 18.
However, the relationship had “ended in a very acrimonious way,” he said.
The court was shown a letter Harris sent to the woman’s father in 1997, after the end of the
The letter said: “I fondly imagined that everything that had taken place had progressed from a feeling
of love and friendship – there was no rape, no physical forcing, brutality or beating that took place.”
Here we do have actual evidence, of sexual activity between an older man and a much younger
Rolf Harris admits to having a sexual relationship with her when she was 18 years old. She is now 49,
so at the time Rolf Harris would have been 53, an age gap of 35 years.
The letter evidence proves a sexual relationship that we may disapprove of, however, it is not evidence
of criminal activity.
“The court has previously heard that she was an alcoholic by the time she was in her late 20s”
There is, considerable scientific evidence that alcohol abuse is linked to confabulation (also called
honest lying) where people make things up and honestly believe them.
The standard of guilt in a criminal trial is supposed to be beyond a reasonable doubt. Without any
corroborating evidence of under-age on non-consensual sexual activity it cannot be beyond reasonable
COUNTS 10 TO 12 – VERDICTS: GUILTY
Tonya Lee was a 15-year-old on a theatre trip from Australia to the UK when, she said, the entertainer
Ms Lee has waived the right to anonymity granted to alleged victims of sexual offences. The three
charges relate to one day in May 1986.
She said he asked her to sit on his lap before moving his hand up her leg and assaulting her.
“He was moving back and forth rubbing against me,” she said. “It was very subtle, it wasn’t big
The jury heard that Harris had then patted her on the thigh and moved his hand upwards. She said she
had “started to panic” and rushed to the toilet.
When she came out, she said, Harris was waiting for her and gave her “a big bear hug” before putting
his hand down her top and then down her skirt.
Harris denied this.
A witness to the alleged assault retracted her recollection of this event and admitted that the memory
was not direct but had happened after suggestion.
It was also revealed that Ms Lee had sold her story for £33,000 to an Australian TV station and a
magazine. She said accepting the money had been a “huge mistake”.
Here we have the uncorroborated accusation of a woman who has already cashed in, to the tune of
She also claimed in her evidence that the sexual assault caused her to lose six kilos in weight during the
six week theatre tour. It was then proven in court that the alleged incident could only have taken place
in the final week of the tour!
As the defence QC pointed out:
“Are you really saying between this alleged incident on May 30 and six days later that you lost all that
weight….in six days? You have blamed the loss of weight and inability to eat upon Rolf Harris.”
At best it appears that the witness has a confused recollection of events, not surprising after 28 years,
at worst she was simply lying for financial gain.
Some will doubtless say that even if individually these are not compelling, when taken as a whole they
paint a picture of an abuser. This is a very dangerous conclusion and not conducive to the test of
beyond reasonable doubt.
I would be obliged if you would urgently review this case in its entirety and properly apply the British
Standards of Innocent until Proven Guilty and Beyond Reasonable Doubt. These two standards of
justice are alarmingly missing from this case.
This case is in my view an affront to the good name of British Justice.
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