Rolf Harris five-year prison sentence for sex crimes is referred to Attorney General's office over 'unduly lenient' claims
Entertainer was found guilty of 12 counts of indecent assault
Heather Saul is a digital reporter for The Independent, currently working on the People desk. She has written news and features across a number of topics, paying particular attention to the activities of Isis and events in Iraq, Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia.
Saturday 05 July 2014
The sentence handed to the disgraced entertainer Rolf Harris has been referred to the Attorney General under the "unduly lenient sentence scheme", after he was jailed for five years and nine months for a string of indecent assaults.
Harris was told by the judge he had shown “no remorse” as he was sentenced at Southwark Crown Court today for 12 counts of indecent assault.
Judge Justice Sweeny said the 84-year-old took advantage of the trust placed in him through his celebrity status, adding: “You clearly got a thrill from committing offences while others were nearby.”
A spokesman for the Attorney General’s office told the BBC it "only takes one person to trigger the process", and the sentence must be considered within 28 days for possible referral to the Court of Appeal.
Speaking after the sentencing, one of Harris’s victims who had been a childhood friend of his daughter Bindi said his jail term was “immaterial” and that she hoped women “will come forward now, celebrity or not”.
"I feel fine, I think the guilty verdict was actually what I wanted, what I went to court for," she said.
Harris will likely serve half of his sentence and has been told by the judge he will have to pay the prosecution costs, but will not have to pay compensation to his victims.
Speaking outside court, a representative of the youngest victim, who was abused at the age of seven or eight by Harris as she got his autograph near Portsmouth, said: "(She) had only eight years of her life without this incident going round in her head and that was her first eight years.
"After these cameras have been dismantled and the media circus has rolled on to another town it will still be with her as it will be with the other girls.
"In due time (she) will eventually share her story and experiences through the proper channels with a view to helping other children who have suffered at the hands of adults whether they are on the telly or sitting beside them watching it.
"Hopefully that way some good can be brought from this sad case."
Additional reporting by Press Association
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