Rolf Harris artwork removed from Floral Pavilion after entertainer jailed for sex crimes

Wirral Globe: Jailed peadophile Rolf Harris. Jailed peadophile Rolf Harris.

A PAINTING created by disgraced paedophile Rolf Harris has been removed from its former home at the Floral Pavilion.

The 84-year-old entertainer, a family favourite for decades, was finally unmasked as a prolific paedophile with his conviction for 12 indecent assaults on Monday.

Until today, the Floral Pavilion had boasted an original Harris painting which could be seen in the plaza lounge outside the main auditorium.

The Antipodean entertainer painted the image live on stage during an appearance at the theatre back in 1981.

It was taken down after the show, rolled up and according to then general manager, just “put in a corner”.

It was later restored and framed and was on full display for audiences to enjoy – until Monday.

Harris now faces spending the rest of his natural life behind bars after he was jailed for five years and nine months for the sex crimes involving four girls.

He was unanimously found guilty of molesting four girls – one woman who was just seven or eight and was groped when she asked for his autograph, and another two who fell prey as young teenagers.

The veteran presenter, who charmed television audiences for decades, was also convicted of a catalogue of abuse against his daughter's then-best friend, who prosecutors said Harris groomed from the age of 13 and used like "his little toy".

The accusations dated between 1968 and 1986, and the girls were targeted between the ages of seven or eight and 19.

Harris, who earlier travelled from his Bray home by boat, sat in the glass-walled dock with a striped suitcase by his side remained impassive as sentence was passed, with daughter Bindi watching from the gallery.

Wirral Globe:
The painting which, until Monday, took pride of place in the Floral Pavilion.

His frail wife Alwen did not come to court today, although she has attended much of the trial.

Harris had a small reprieve this morning as prosecutors confirmed he will not stand trial over allegations that he downloaded sexual images of children.

Passing sentence in a packed courtroom, the judge told Harris: "For well over 50 years you have been a popular entertainer and TV personality of international standing with a speciality in children's entertainment. You are also an artist of renown. You have been the recipient of a number of honours and awards over the years, you have done many good and charitable works and numerous people have attested to your positive good character.

"But the verdicts of the jury show that in the period from 1969 to 1986 you were also a sex offender, committing 12 indecent assaults on four victims who were variously aged between eight and 19 at the time.”

He added: "In every case the age gap between you and the victim was a very considerable one. You clearly got a thrill from committing the offences while others were present or nearby. Whilst others did not realise what you were doing their presence added to the ordeal of your victims."

Mr Justice Sweeney told the entertainer: "Rolf Harris, the sentence I pass upon you in total is one of five years and nine months imprisonment.”

Unless released earlier, Harris will serve half of that sentence and will serve the remainder on licence.

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