Paedophile entertainer Rolf Harris dies aged 93 after neck cancer battle

23 May 2023, 12:51 | Updated: 23 May 2023, 16:09

Rolf Harris has died aged 93
Rolf Harris has died aged 93. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

Sex criminal Rolf Harris has died aged 93 after a battle with neck cancer.

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The disgraced TV star died at his home in Bray, Berkshire. The news was confirmed on Tuesday by the registrar at Maidenhead Town Hall, which covers the leafy village.

His death certificate said he died on May 10 of neck cancer and "frailty of old age", and would be cremated.

His family said in a statement: "This is to confirm that Rolf Harris recently died peacefully surrounded by family and friends and has now been laid to rest.

"They ask that you respect their privacy. No further comment will be made."

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Read more: Rolf Harris's final days: Living in the dark, unable to speak and shooed away from a primary school

Harris was jailed after being convicted in 2014
Harris was jailed after being convicted in 2014. Picture: Metropolitan Police

Harris, who was born in Perth, Australia, in 1930, became a national treasure and achieved fame for his paintings and work on children's programmes.

Such was his fame and high-regard, he was commissioned to paint a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II in 2005.

Harris came to the UK in 1953 to study and built a life as one of the country's most prominent and popular entertainers.

But he was exposed as a sex offender when he was convicted of indecent assault against four girls in 2014 amid Operation Yewtree, and was jailed for five years and nine months.

The crimes happened between 1968 and 1986.

Harris was also stripped of his CBE, OBE and MBE.

Read more: Rolf Harris jokes with Jimmy Savile about leaving girl 'safely in my capable hands' in unearthed footage

One of those victims was aged either seven or eight.

Police said he behaved strangely during their investigation into him, with ITV's recent Hidden in Plain Sight documentary including claims he sang Sun Arise as he was quizzed by detectives.

Rolf Harris has died after being diagnosed with neck cancer
Rolf Harris has died after being diagnosed with neck cancer. Picture: Alamy

During the trial, it was claimed one of the girls was a childhood friend of his daughter's. Another had been a fan who was looking for an autograph.

One victim said in a statement read out in court: "The attacks that happened have made me feel dirty, grubby and disgusting.

"The whole sordid saga has traumatised me.

"I have panic attacks and suffer from anxiety. The effects of the abuse have been with me for many years. I started drinking at the age of 14 to 15 years old.

"This was to block out the effects of what he was doing to me."

The judge in that case said he used his celebrity status to his advantage and demonstrated no remorse.

He served three years of his sentence and was released in 2017 during a retrial for four indecent assault charges, but kept a low profile since then.

One of the 12 indecent assault convictions was later overturned by the Court of Appeal.

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