UK & World News
Rolf Harris 'Groped Girl As She Sat On His Lap'
Rolf Harris allegedly indecently assaulted a teenage girl in a pub just hours after she arrived in Britain on a theatre tour, a court has heard.
Tonya Lee, 43, who waived her right to anonymity described how the entertainer groped her under her skirt in front of unsuspecting members of the party in the packed venue.
She described how Harris began to molest her after he had asked her to sit on his lap and tell him about herself.
Mrs Lee, who gave evidence from behind a screen despite waiving her anonymity, said she felt "petrified" and "frozen in fear" after Harris groped her again by a pub toilet.
Jurors at Southwark Crown Court heard Mrs Lee describe how she had arrived in London in 1986, aged 15, with the theatre group as part of a tour and had met Harris at Heathrow.
Later that same day they went for dinner in a London pub where he invited her to sit on his lap, with Mrs Lee saying he said: "Come over here Tonya tell me about yourself."
She said: "One hand started to pat me on the thigh. It started on the outer thigh and he began to move his hand up my inner thigh.
"I started to panic. I was wondering what to do, how to get out of it I was confused."
Mrs Lee said she then fled to the toilet in shock and when she came back out found Harris waiting for her.
"I felt intimidated, it felt uncomfortable ... he went to give me a hug. I just wanted to get out of the situation. It was big bear hug, all encompassing, she said.
"It felt very uncomfortable and quite surreal. Things happened so quickly. He then put his hand down my shirt and made contact with my breast."
Mrs Lee added she waned to escape but was unable as he continued to grope her.
Prosecutor Ms Sasha Wass QC asked her how she felt and Mrs Lee replied: "I wanted to burst into tears. I just wanted to run. I was gobsmacked, in complete disbelief."
Mrs Lee, who also told the court she was abused by a relative when she was around four years old, said that as a result of what happened she lost her appetite and later developed bulimia.
Three of the 12 indecent assault charges that Harris, of Bray, Berkshire, faces relate to Mrs Lee and as she testified he listened carefully from the dock.
The veteran entertainer denies the charges, which date between 1968 and 1986, against four women aged between seven and 19 years old.