Saturday 20 December 2014

No appeal over 'lenient' Rolf Harris sentence

Published 30/07/2014 | 12:21

Entertainer Rolf Harris arrives at Southwark Crown Court in London...Entertainer Rolf Harris arrives at Southwark Crown Court in London May 12, 2014. Harris is charged with indecent assault, and denies the charges.   REUTERS/Andrew Winning (BRITAIN  - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT CRIME LAW)  ...I
Entertainer Rolf Harris

Convicted paedophile Rolf Harris, who is from Berkshire, will not see his jail term challenged by the Government's chief legal adviser for being too lenient.

Attorney General Jeremy Wright will not refer the disgraced entertainer's sentence of five years and nine months to the Court of Appeal, a spokeswoman in his office said.

Mr Wright's decision comes despite his office receiving 150 complaints about the leniency of Harris's sentence, of which he will serve half, although it only takes one complaint to trigger the review process.

Harris, 84, a family favourite for decades, was finally unmasked as a prolific paedophile following his conviction for 12 indecent assaults at the end of last month.

A spokeswoman for the Attorney General's Office (AGO) said: "The Attorney General understands that his decision not to refer the case may be a disappointment to some people; however, he did give extremely careful consideration to this sentence and he concluded that he could not refer it."

She added: "After very careful consideration, the Attorney General, Jeremy Wright QC MP, has decided not to refer the five year and nine month sentence given to Rolf Harris to the Court of Appeal, as he did not think they would find it to be unduly lenient and increase it.

"The sentencing judge was bound by the maximum sentence in force at the time of the offending.

"The judge made some of the sentences consecutive to reach the total sentence, but he could not simply add up sentences on individual counts; the overall sentence had to be just and proportionate to the overall offending.

"The judge was also required to take into account the age of the offender."

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