Sheffield Rolf Harris mural to be removed

Rolf Harris mural on Shoreham Street
Rolf Harris mural on Shoreham Street

A mural of Rolf Harris is to be removed from a Sheffield street after the former TV presenter was jailed for sex offences.

The painting, on a wall on Shoreham Street in the city centre, will be scrubbed from the wall.

Sheffield Councillor Isobel Lewis said: “It’s not appropriate to have a mural of a convicted child abuser on a wall in Sheffield.”

Harris, aged 84, was found guilty of 12 counts of indecently assaulting four girls in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

He was sentenced at Southwark Crown Court yesterday to five years and nine months in prison.

The mural was said to have been painted by Harris himself as a protest self-portrait, after a piece he painted in Sheffield in the 1970s was earlier pulled down to make way for a bakery.

Coun Bowler, cabinet member for culture, sport and leisure, said: “We are painting it over as soon as we can.

“Longer term, we will commission some street art for the space.”

Harris was found guilty of molesting four girls – one who was just seven or eight when she was groped after asking for his autograph, and another two who fell prey to his clutches as young teenagers.

The veteran presenter 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.

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

Speaking at Harris’ sentencing, Mr Justice Sweeney told Harris: “You have shown no remorse for your crimes at all.

“Your reputation lies in ruins, you have been stripped of your honours, and you have no-one to blame but yourself.

“There were a number of aggravating features.

“You took advantage of the trust that had been placed in you because of your celebrity status in order to commit offences against three of the victims.

“In every case, the age difference 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.

“While others did not realise what you were doing, their presence added to the ordeal of your victims.”