Rolf Harris will not stand trial over allegations he downloaded sexual images of children

The entertainer has appeared in court today to be sentenced today for a string of indecent assaults

Senior Reporter

Claims that Rolf Harris browsed websites featuring girls as young as 13 and took notes on how to delete his internet history were never heard by the jury who this week convicted him of 12 counts of indecent assault against children, it can now be reported.

Prosecutors were due to claim that the 84-year-old entertainer, who will be sentenced later this afternoon, accessed websites with names such as "My little nieces", "Tiny teen girlfriends" and "Russian girlfriends".

Harris was charged with four counts of accessing indecent images by police, but never entered pleas as his defence team successfully persuaded the judge, Mr Justice Sweeney, to separate them off from the main trial.

Today, prosecutor Sasha Wass QC told Southwark Crown Court that the Crown Prosecution Service had since decided that it was "no longer in the public interest" to pursue a second trial on the outstanding charges "in the light of the 12 unanimous convictions on the counts that Mr Harris faced".

UPDATE: Rolf Harris sentenced to five years and nine months in prison

The court previously heard how police searching Harris's home in Bray, Berkshire in 2012 had discovered a stash of adult images on his desktop computer, 33 of which appeared to be of children including one under the age of 13.

They also found a hand written notes in Harris's diary detailing how to delete material from his computer. He had written: "1) start button 2) control panel 3) internet options 4) press delete under heading below history, make sure all boxes ticked."

Harris's defence team argued that the models in the photographs were all over 18 according to identity documents provided by the Ukrainian owners of the websites which featured them. They also claimed he had only clicked on them by accident while browsing mainstream porn sites.

Earlier this morning Harris was seen leaving his riverside home, where he has been living on bail since his conviction on Monday, by boat. He arrived at court wearing a grey suit, white shirt and multicoloured tie, supported by his daughter Bindi.

During proceedings he sat in the glass dock flanked by a single security guard, listening impassively through a hearing loop headset.

In mitigation, his lawyer Sonia Woodley QC said his sexual liaisons with underage girls had been "brief" and "opportunistic rather than predatory". She added that during his trial he had received two bags of cards from well-wishers and enough letters of support to fill three lever-arch files.

The court also heard that Harris was suffering from "ill health", although no details were given. The judge said: "Given his ill health the effects of a prison sentence will be all the greater."

 

The court also heard extracts from victim impact statements by the four women Harris has been convicted of abusing.

One victim, who was a former friend of Harris's daughter Bindi, said: "The attacks that happened have made me feel dirty, grubby and disgusting. The whole sordid saga has traumatised me."

She added that the abuse had affected hear throughout her life and that she had turned to alcohol to escape.

"As a young girl I had aspirations to have a career, settle down and have a family," she said.

"However, as a direct result of his actions, this has never materialised. The knowledge of what he had done to me haunted me. However, his popularity with the British public made it harder for me to deal with."

Another victim, who was assaulted by Harris when she visited England as a teenager, said the incident was a "turning point" in her life from which she had never recovered. "I have never felt safe since, I live life in a constant state of anxiety," she said.

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