Child safety campaigner Hetty Johnston.
Child safety campaigner Hetty Johnston.

Aussie victims of Rolf Harris emerged 12 years ago

BRAVEHEARTS founder Hetty Johnston has revealed her organisation was approached more than a decade ago from people who alleged disgraced entertainer Rolf Harris had abused them.

Harris, 84, was jailed for five years and nine months after being found guilty earlier in the week to 12 indecent assault offences committed against four girls in the UK between 1968 and 1986.

Ms Johnston, the nation's leading child safety advocate, said she had no doubt there were more of Harris' victims out there.

"Other people approached us 12 years ago in relation to Rolf Harris," she said.

"But ultimately they decided not to do anything about it.

"They did not have the strength to go through it all."

Ms Johnston said Harris' sentence was in line with what the laws in the UK were at the time of the offences.

"He went from icon to inmate," she said.

"His life as he knew it is now over.

"He is no threat to anyone anymore because everyone knows who he is and what he is."

British Attorney-General Dominic Grieve has indicated he may appeal Harris' sentence on the grounds it was too lenient.

Since the sentence it has emerged legal firm Slater & Gordon are exploring the possibilities of a class action being brought by Australian, New Zealand and British women in the United Kingdom who were abused by Harris.

Prosecutor Sasha Wass said, in light of the guilty verdicts, UK police would no longer pursue four child pornography charges against Harris relating to images found on his computer when his house was raided in 2012.

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