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  • 2 June 2014, 21:17

Harris Denies 'Deliberate Lie' To Sex Trial

Entertainer Rolf Harris has deliberately lied in his sex trial, jurors have been told, after new video evidence was shown to the court.

Harris, 84, said last week he had never been to Cambridge - where an alleged assault took place - until four years ago for an exhibition of his paintings.

But evidence was shown to the court which showed him being in the university city in 1978, taking part in a programme called Star Games.

The trial has heard the alleged victim was around 14 when she claimed Harris touched her bottom when he took part in an It's a Knockout style event held in Cambridge.

In the footage seen by jurors Harris was described as being the captain of the theatre team as it took part in the game show, with prosecutor Sasha Wass QC saying he "was jumping up and down like a kangaroo".

His teammates included Dr Who star Colin Baker, actress Rula Lenska and seventies comedian Robin Askwith.

Ms Wass added the video "supported everything the witness had said... apart from the year - she got that wrong".

Ms Wass added: "You told the jury last week with such confidence that you had never been to Cambridge until four years ago. That was a deliberate lie."

Harris replied: "No, it wasn't. I didn't find out it was Cambridge until I saw the video.

"None of the performers knew they were in Cambridge."

The video began with aerial shots of Cambridge and was introduced by Michael Aspel welcoming viewers to he city.

After it was screened, Ms Wass said:"You didn't know you were in Cambridge? Michael Aspel knew."

Harris said: "We all went on a coach and were deposited on a green with changing rooms."

Ms Wass continued: "You deliberately lied to mislead the jury."

Harris said: "I'd forgotten the event."

Ms Wass said: "It was a deliberate lie."

Harris said: "No, a lapse of memory."

He again insisted that all of the women who have given evidence against him had lied.

At one point the judge rebuked Harris after he threw a question back at the prosecution, telling him: "This is not a verbal joust."

The artist's daughter Bindi Nicholls, 50, also gave evidence, telling how she was once "best friends" with the main complainant in the trial.

Mrs Nicholls told the court she had been delighted that the woman went on holiday with her and the Harris family in 1978. 

When asked by defence QC Sonia Woodley if she had ever seen her friend "looking flustered, or any change in her behaviour during the holiday," she replied she had not.

The woman has told the court she was groped by Harris as she stepped out of a shower and when he wrapped her in a towel on the beach during the trip.

Mrs Nicholls said of the alleged beach incident: "That would be weird. You put a towel around little people not a grown teenager, they would dry themselves.

"That would be strange, odd. I can't see that happening at all."

She added:"My dad doesn't like going on the beach. He hates sunbathing. He maybe goes snorkelling."

When asked about claims from the main complainant that her father had performed a sex act on her friend as she was asleep on the next bed, Mrs Nicholls said that was "laughable" and "ridiculous".

She added she had never seen her friend as the depressed and broken woman she had told the court she became after Harris allegedly assaulted her.

Mrs Nicholls said: "She always seemed very happy, jolly, alive."

Earlier Mrs Nicholls had broken down in tears as she described as "devastating" the Harris family south London to Berkshire in 1981, adding that it was like "moving to the moon".

Harris denies 12 counts of indecent assault on four women aged between seven and eight years old and 19 between 1968 and 1986.

The trial continues.

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