Rolf Harris sex trial: Girl tells court that veteran entertainer gave 'creepy' hugs before indecently assaulting her on holiday when she was 13

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is the first witness to give evidence in the entertainer's trial

A woman has told a court that veteran entertainer Rolf Harris would give her 'creepy' hugs before indecently assaulting her during a holiday in Hawaii when she was 13.

The 49-year-old woman, who was giving evidence from behind a curtain at Southwark Crown Court in London, alleged the 84-year-old touched her without warning when she had just got out of the shower and was wrapped in only a towel, during the trip in 1978.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is the first witness to give evidence in the entertainer's trial.

She is a childhood friend of Mr Harris' daughter, Bindi.

She told the jury of six women and six men: "The way he hugged you and touched you all over, it was cringey.

"The way Rolf folded himself around you, he was a big man...he enfolded you in his arms and then touched you up and down over your body. He'd go 'ooh'." She claims he groped her.

After the claimed assault, the alleged victim said: "He... pretended as if nothing had happened and said 'See you downstairs'." She told the jury that Mr Harris told her she was "lovely".

Harris, sitting in the glass-walled dock, looked down at the floor as he listened to proceedings through a hearing loop.

The woman said: "I was shocked and panicked by it because I didn't know what to do. I thought 'I don't know quite what's happened here but whatever it is, it's not good'. I just sat on the edge of the bed in a state of shock, really."

The alleged incident is not included among charges that Harris faces, because it happened abroad before such offences could be prosecuted in the UK.

But the woman is named on seven of the 12 indecent assault charges against the artist and musician, all of which he denies. She claims that Harris went on to abuse her for a number of years.

The woman told the court that on another occasion during the same holiday Mr Harris abused her by fondling her crotch as he wrapped a towel round her on the beach.

She said the star's wife and daughter were sunbathing "a few feet away" when he put his hand inside the towel, and down her bikini bottoms.

Asked why she did not tell them or shout out, she said: "I was a very shy child, excruciatingly shy really, and I just hadn't got the guts to shout out and I thought, well, if you shout out it will cause mayhem anyway. It was Bindi's dad and Alwen's husband."

Later in the same holiday, she alleges she was again fondled by Harris while she was wearing her bikini.

The woman, who jurors have heard went on to have a number of sexual encounters with Harris until her late 20s, claims he told her later that the bikini she wore on that holiday had "always turned him on".

The court heard that on one occasion the woman woke up to hear the "clicking of a camera" and found Harris taking photographs of her.

She said that she "buried" the alleged holiday assaults after coming back to the UK, and later began drinking, "swigging" glasses of gin and tonic water when her parents were not around. The woman told the jury she was "a bit confused and angry".

She said of the alleged abuse: "It just made me panic more. I was anxious and very panicky and that's why I started to drink."

She told the court that it would make her feel "anxious and panic-stricken" when she knew she might see Mr Harris, and that his "sheer presence" worried her.

Mr Harris, from Bray in Berkshire, entered a not guilty plea at an earlier hearing. The case continues.

Additional reporting by the Press Association

News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

News
There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law
news

Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London