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'No evidence Harris was even at events'

THERE is "no independent evidence" that proves Rolf Harris was at events where he allegedly groped two women, a court heard yesterday.

Jurors at Southwark Crown Court were told that despite searches of newspaper archives, no trace of the entertainer appearing at a community centre near Portsmouth in 1969 or an event in Cambridge in 1975 could be found.

One alleged victim, then aged 14, claims Harris, 84, groped her bottom outside a Celebrity It's a Knock Out event in Cambridge. She said he was acting up for a crowd by barking at a dog before he grabbed her.

Defending, Sonia Woodley QC told senior investigating officer Gary Pankhurst: "There is no independent evidence of any kind to put Mr Harris in Cambridge in the year of 1975."

The detective sergeant said that the alleged victim had not been entirely sure of the date, but "1975 was clearly she felt the most certain".

Another woman claimed Harris touched her intimately when she was seven or eight after she queued to get his autograph at a community centre near Portsmouth in 1969.

Again, despite searches of local newspaper archives, council records and letter drops appealing for witnesses, no confirmation could be found that Harris had been there.

This included looking at copies of the Portsmouth News between January 1967 and May 1974.

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