Rolf Harris facing further charges

Australian entertainer Rolf Harris is going back on trial next month for alleged sexual offences against girls and women, one of whom was disabled.

The 85-year-old pleaded not guilty to seven charges of indecent assault, three of which were on girls under the age of 14 years, and one charge of sexual touching on a female 13 years or over.

The charges relate to incidents which allegedly occurred between 1971 and 2004 in Britain.

Twice Harris is accused of indecent assault while at the BBC Television Centre in London; once in 1983, then again 21 years later in 2004.

Harris appeared at a Westminster Magistrates Court via video link from Strafford Prison where he's serving nearly six years for indecently assaulting four girls in Britain between 1968 and 1986.

The trial begins on April 14 and will be heard at the Southwark Crown Court because, as a higher court, it is able to deal with the gravity of the complaints and hand down longer sentences.

Harris greeted the court saying, "Good afternoon". He occasionally asked speakers to be louder or clearer and he spoke to answer the charges, "not guilty" to each.

He was asked to say his name, which he spelt out, "Rolf R-O-L-F Harris "; his date of birth,  "30-03-1930 "; and his address, "HMP Stafford ", Her Majesty's Prison Stafford.

Harris did not wear traditional prison garb. He instead appeared wearing a grey suit, white shirt and multi-coloured tie.

He started straight ahead throughout the appearance, frowning slightly and occasionally sipping from a polystyrene cup.

The Harris family said they are "disappointed and saddened" about the decision to go to trial.

In a short written statement read outside court by their solicitor, the Harris family said they are "disappointed and saddened that the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) have decided to make Rolf, who will be 86 years old at the end of March, face another trial."