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Abuse left a legacy of damaged lives, relationships and aspirations

ROLF Harris's victims have described the harrowing effects his assaults had on them, saying they have been unable to move on from his abuse.

As part of the sentencing process, Southwark Crown Court heard victim-impact statements from the four women whom the 84-year-old has been convicted of indecently assaulting.

In a statement read by junior prosecutor Esther Schutzer-Weissman, the former friend of his daughter Bindi - to whom seven of the 12 counts relate - said she had been "traumatised" by the years of abuse she suffered. She said: "The attacks that happened have made me feel dirty, grubby and disgusting. The whole sordid saga has traumatised me."

The woman said Harris's abuse had been the cause of a drinking habit she developed at an early age. It affected her relationship with her parents.

"As a young girl, I had aspirations to have a career, settle down and have a family. However, as a direct result of his actions, this has never materialised. The knowledge of what he had done to me haunted me. His popularity with the British public made it harder for me to deal with.

"Rolf Harris had a hold over me that made me a quivering wreck. He made me feel like a sexual object, he used and abused me to such a degree that it made me feel worthless."

Another victim, Tonya Lee, who has waived her right to anonymity, said her assault by Harris when she visited England as a teenager was a turning point in her life that she has never recovered from.

Her statement added: "What Mr Harris took from me was my very essence, I believe that it was for Mr Harris a forgettable moment, but it was something for me I will never move on from. The person I am today is not the person I should have been."

Another indecently assaulted by Harris as she went to get his autograph at a community centre when she was seven or eight, said Harris took away her childhood. She said the moment had been her first taste of independence, but in those few moments her "childhood innocence was gone".

A fourth victim, assaulted when she was a teenager as Harris took part in a celebrity game show in Cambridge in the 1970s, said he took advantage of her, making her feel ashamed.

She said: "He treated me like a toy that he had played with for his own pleasure."

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