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‘Rolf barked like dog ,then he groped me’

Rolf Harris groped a teenage girl after she saw him crouched on all fours barking at a dog, a jury has heard.

The woman, giving evidence from behind a screen at a London court, said she was working as a waitress at a celebrity event in Cambridge when she was 13 or 14, and went outside when she and her colleagues heard the animal noises.

“He was on all fours and there was a terrier-type dog in front of him and they were barking at each other,” the woman said.

laughing

“There was a small semi-circle of people around him laughing and Rolf Harris was playing up to the crowd.”

She said she felt “awestruck” at seeing the celebrity, whom she recognised “instantly” when she saw him outside the It’s a Celebrity Knockout event in 1975 or 1976.

The woman, who is now 52, told the jury of six men and six women that Harris put his arm around her and moved his hand up and down her back, before squeezing her bottom.

With her voice wavering, she said: “I just stood there. I couldn’t believe what was going on, this famous person putting his arm around me.

“To start, it was a very nervous but a good feeling. However, his hand then moved and his hand went up and down my back and his hand went over my bottom.”

She told the court she had her back to the white marquee where the event was taking place, so the crowd could not see what was happening.

The woman said: “I was too young to really understand the term but it was basically like groping. It was very firm and he squeezed it a few times.

“I was just completely frozen. I knew it was wrong. I couldn’t move.”

She said she was “extremely embarrassed” and moved away as soon as Harris let go of her.

“I don’t know why I was embarrassed. I think when you are a child and you have someone doing that to you, it feels very awkward and you don’t know how to react.”

The woman is named in the second of 12 indecent assault charges that Harris (84), from Bray in Berkshire, is facing, all of which he denies.

She said she could not remember detailed information about the day of the claimed grope. The trial was adjourned until Monday.

hnews@herald.ie


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