Australian entertainer Rolf Harris.
Australian entertainer Rolf Harris. The Independent

Rolf Harris’s crimes robbed us all of great memories

ROLF Harris's legacy should have been about funny songs, superb paintings and warm memories after an entertainment career that spanned more than 50 years.

But it will not be.

The 84-year-old Western Australian was sentenced late last night after being convicted in a London court of 12 counts of abusing young girls, one of whom was aged seven or eight.

All hope that the charges were "just a huge mistake", as one of his friends put it, faded during the trial.

Rolf Harris, who had become a wildly popular star in Britain and Australia, was a sex abuser and pedophile.

Generations grew up watching Harris on TV.

His career started at the dawn of the "age of celebrity".

He was charming, smart, witty and warm, carrying a quiver of witty and clever songs.

Harris was such a talented artist, too, he hosted BBC-TV art shows and was even asked to paint a portrait of the Queen.

But his character was much darker than his talents revealed.

One of Rolf Harris's victims said this week that he had "groomed" the world.

She is right.

Harris came from an era that, we would like to believe, was better than today. It was a time, we thought , when we could trust other adults.

His crimes have crushed that innocence as well.

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