Monday, 30 June 2014

Was Rolf Harris Mr Jekyl or Mr Hyde?

Rolf Harris when arrested.
Today has been so hectic ever since the jury returned guilty verdicts on all 12 counts and convicted Rolf Harris of abuse of 4 girls. I have discussed the story on Radio 5 Live, then BBC News 24, Radio Wales, and Radio London, followed tomorrow by a clip for Breakfast tomorrow.

The theme remains the same - Harris was a Jekyl and Hyde character who fooled everyone. Savile was the same, but perhaps not as genial. Some said Savile was a frightening individual who you didn't cross, not only because he had been an all in wrestler in contrast to Harris whose hobby was less physical in the form of art.

The likenesses and differences are:-

  • They both did endless work for charity.
  • They both worked with children.
  • They both entertained children.
  • They both used their media profile to hoodwink victims into a state of trust.
  • They both had connections with many individuals very high up in Society - Savile with Margaret Thatcher, and Harris painted the Queen.
  • They both worked in the field of popular music which inevitably brought about meetings with adoring fans including children.
  • Neither was discovered until in their 80's, Savile obviously after death.
  • Savile is dead - obviously thus making it easier to report what happened without fear of a libel suit.
  • Savile used his connections with those in authority to shield himself from action by victims eg. Leeds Police, and threats of action by using his "mates" in authority.
  • Savile appears to have liked all types of victims including
    • Boys
    • Girls
    • The disabled
    • Hospital Patients
    • Dead Bodies (yes believe it or not he was seen to visit the mortuaries in various hospitals including Leeds and Haute de la Garenne in Jersey)
  • Harris on the other hand only appears to have had an interest in the female sex according to the media stories.
  • Savile was feared in his lifetime, and known to be an "odd" character who never married, whereas Harris appears to have lived a "normal" family life.
So what will the sentence be on Friday - not as long as the victims want, I predict. The judge will be hampered again by the law which puts a cap on sentences which relate to offences taking place a long time ago when the punishment was different, on the basis that if Harris had been prosecuted at the time of the offences, the sentence would have been more lenient.

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