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Rolf Harris launches sex offences appeal bid

AFP

Veteran entertainer Rolf Harris arrives at Southwark Crown Court in central London on July 4, 2014Veteran entertainer Rolf Harris arrives at Southwark Crown Court in central London on July 4, 2014

Veteran entertainer Rolf Harris arrives at Southwark Crown Court in central London on July 4, 2014Veteran entertainer Rolf Harris arrives at Southwark Crown Court in central London on July 4, 2014

Jailed children's entertainer Rolf Harris has applied for permission to appeal against his convictions for a string of sex offences in Britain, judicial officials said Friday.

The 84-year-old Australian-born Harris was found guilty on June 30 of 12 indecent assaults against four girls, including an eight-year-old autograph hunter and a close friend of his daughter.

Harris, who had been a fixture on British television for decades, was jailed for five years and nine months for the offences, which took place between 1968 and 1986.

A spokesman for the Judicial Office confirmed that Harris' lawyers had lodged a request with the Court of Appeal this week for permission to lodge an appeal.

A judge will now decide whether the artist and television star will be allowed to make a full challenge against his convictions.

The move to challenge the convictions comes days after a decision to uphold Harris' jail sentence, despite criticism that it was too lenient.

Attorney General Jeremy Wright, the government's chief legal advisor, received 150 complaints asking for a review, but announced on Wednesday that the jail term would not be challenged.

The guilty verdicts caused widespread revulsion in Britain, where Harris was beloved to generations of children as a family-friendly popular entertainer, and in his homeland of Australia.

The disgraced artist was made a CBE in 2006 -- one step below a knighthood -- and even painted a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II to celebrate the monarch's 80th birthday.

Date created : 2014-08-01