Harris 'drawing sketches' while in dock on indecent assault charges

Rolf Harris has been making sketches in the dock during his indecent assault trial, Southwark Crown Court heard today.

But trial judge Mr Justice Sweeney told jurors that the veteran entertainer’s drawings had been “innocent” and have now been destroyed.

The court heard that it had been noticed that the 84-year-old artist had been making sketches whilst sat in the dock during his trial.

Mr Justice Sweeney today told the jury of six men and six women: “On Friday it was brought to my attention that the defendant had been making the odd sketch whilst he was in the dock, and I think it’s something that one or more of your number had noticed as well.

“After that was brought to my attention on Friday I investigated the position. I am entirely clear that the making of the sketches was innocent.

“In fact they have since been confiscated and destroyed so please don’t worry about that and don’t hold that against the defendant obviously in any way. I am satisfied that it was innocent.”

As Harris took to the dock to give evidence, the court heard about his rise to stardom as an artist.

The 84-year-old told how he came to England at the age of 21 to pursue a career in art as he did not want to just be a “weekend painter”.

Through a hugely successful career in music and TV, he went on to receive an OBE, MBE and CBE, and was also commissioned to paint the Queen, the court heard.

Harris faces 12 counts of indecent assault on four alleged victims between 1968 and 1986, all of which he denies.

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