Saturday, May 23, 2015Saturday, May 23, 2015

Abbott 'gutted and dismayed' by conviction of entertainer Rolf Harris

Published on Jul 1, 2014 11:32 AM

SYDNEY (AFP) - Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said he was "gutted and dismayed" on Tuesday after entertainer Rolf Harris was convicted on 12 counts of indecently assaulting girls, as his home town moved to purge his memory.

Australian-born Harris, 84, was found guilty of all the charges against him after a six-week trial in London, capping a spectacular fall from grace. The TV presenter, artist and musician assaulted four girls and young women aged from seven to 19 between 1968 and 1986, including his daughter Bindi's childhood best friend, the court found.

He will be sentenced on Friday and almost certainly faces jail.

"I feel gutted and dismayed but it's very important that we do everything we humanly can to protect vulnerable young people," Mr Abbott told ABC radio of a man adored by children and adults alike.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!