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Rolf Harris goes free after sex crimes trial collapses

Former Australian entertainer Rolf Harris is a free man after British prosecutors dropped an indecent assault case against him.
The disgraced musician and TV star, 87, walked free from London’s Southwark Crown Court on Tuesday (30May17) after a jury failed to reach verdicts on four historical indecent assault charges dating from the 1970s and 1980s.
After the collapse of the trial, the second in which a jury failed to reach verdicts on the charges, prosecutors announced they would not seek to try Harris a third time.
According to editors at The Guardian, prosecutor Jonathan Rees QC told the court, “We have reviewed whether it would be appropriate to seek a further retrial on these allegations. We have come to the firm view that it would not. Accordingly, we offer no evidence to the four counts on the indictment.”
As a result of the prosecutors’ decision to drop the case, Judge Deborah Taylor formally found Harris not guilty of all four charges.
The artist and entertainer appeared via video link from Her Majesty’s Prison Stafford during part of the trial as he was serving a five-year and nine months sentence for unconnected sex attacks on young girls and women.
However he was released on licence earlier this month (May17) and subsequently appeared in court in person.
The original trial collapsed in February (17) when the jury cleared Harris of two charges of indecent assault and one of sexual assault.
He was retried on the four charges of indecent assault on which the original jury failed to reach a verdict.
Three women appeared at the retrial to claim Harris molested them as teenagers in incidents between 1971 and 1983.
However Harris’ lawyers claimed the women were motivated by greed and only came forward due to their client’s 2014 conviction on 12 counts of indecent assault.

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