Rolf Harris ‘hires private detectives to dig up dirt on his sex abuse victims to clear his name’

Rolf Harris ‘hires private detectives to dig up dirt on his sex abuse victims to clear his name’

Rolf Harris has hired a private investigator in a bid to clear his name Rolf Harris's private investigator has gathered enough dirt on the ent

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Rolf Harris has hired a private investigator in a bid to clear his name

Rolf Harris’s private investigator has gathered enough dirt on the entertainer’s victims to launch a fresh appeal against his sex convictions, according to a source close to his family.

The investigator is said to have ‘verifiable evidence’ against the victims of his trial in 2014.

But one of the accusers of the disgraced entertainer, 89, has slammed the move.

Karen Gardner, who has waived her right to anonymity, alleged Harris assaulted her when she was 16 in 1977.

She said: ‘It doesn’t surprise me that a man who has never taken responsibility for the significant harm and distress he caused girls and young women, imagines throwing money at private detectives will change what most people think about him.’

Harris was charged with indecently assaulting Ms Gardner, who now works for BBC Radio Wiltshire, but he was acquitted after a jury failed to reach a verdict in 2017.

The TV personality served three years of a five-year, nine-month sentence for separate attacks on young girls between 1968 and 1986.

But after his release, he was cleared of further sex attacks and overturned one of the convictions from his 2014 trial.  

The disgraced entertainer caused outrage when he was seen in school grounds waving at children in February

The disgraced entertainer caused outrage when he was seen in school grounds waving at children in February

The disgraced entertainer caused outrage when he was seen in school grounds waving at children in February

Private investigator William Merritt (left) has been working with Rolf Harris in a bid to clear the disgraced entertainer's name

Private investigator William Merritt (left) has been working with Rolf Harris in a bid to clear the disgraced entertainer's name

Private investigator William Merritt (left) has been working with Rolf Harris in a bid to clear the disgraced entertainer’s name

And now a source close to the family has said he intends to launch a further appeal against victims from that trial.

The source told Daily Star Sunday: ‘They have been using a private investigator, William Merritt, for at least four years now.

‘But the update is the team think enough verifiable evidence has been uncovered against each of the remaining victims, and Rolf’s solicitor believes that it’s enough to reopen the case for appeal.’

For one victim, it is understood Harris’s team have financial documents which show a history of bankruptcy and severe debt prior to the trial which could suggest the victim had a financial motivation. 

Harris is due to celebrate his 90th birthday next year but his family say he wants them to continue with effort to clear his name posthumously

Harris is due to celebrate his 90th birthday next year but his family say he wants them to continue with effort to clear his name posthumously

Harris is due to celebrate his 90th birthday next year but his family say he wants them to continue with effort to clear his name posthumously

Another example is said to be an audio recording of another victim saying they had made up the allegations.  

The source said the investigator has enough information on each victim that Harris’s innocence could be proven and they are planning to launch an appeal.

But with Harris due to celebrate his 90th birthday next year, the source said he wants the family to continue to try to clear his name after his death.

In February, the paedophile caused outrage when he was pictured on school ground waving at children. 

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