Rolf Harris Convicted for Sex Offence Charges, BAFTA and CBE Could be Annulled

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Entertainer Rolf Harris Leaves Southwark Crown Court in London
Entertainer Rolf Harris leaves Southwark Crown Court in London, June 30, 2014. Harris, a mainstay of family entertainment in Britain and Australia for more than 50 years, was found guilty on Monday of 12 charges of indecently assaulting young girls over a period of nearly 20 years. REUTERS

Veteran Australian artist Rolf Harris was convicted of 12 counts of sex offences charges against four girls and young women at the Southwark Crown Court. Following his conviction, the entertainer could be annulled with the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Fellowship which was awarded to him two years ago.

The 84-year-old entertainer could also lose the Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) award which he collected from the Princes Royal Princess Anne who stood for Queen Elizabeth II at an Investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace, London on November 2006.

The charges of the disgraced artist are detailed in an article from BBC.  The  first victim was woman who was inappropriately touched by the entertainer when she was aged seven or eight years old. That time she queued for an autograph from the entertainer at a Community Centre in Hampshire during 1968 or 1969. The case constituted the first count of the sex offence against the Australian entertainer. 

The second victim was woman whom Rolf Harris put his arms around her shoulder when she was aged 13 or 14. She was then working as a waitress at a charity event in Cambridge in 1975. This one was the second count of the 12 sex offence charges.  

The third victim a childhood friend of the entertainer's daughter Bindi whom seven of the 12 sexual abuse charges were filed. Six abuse charges took place when the friend was still aged between 13 to 15 and the seventh charge happened when she was 19 years old.

The last victim was a budding actress Tonya Lee who was then 15-years old when Rold Harris touched her during a theatre trip from Australia to the UK. Three of the 12 sexual abuse charges were filed to the entertainer from this victim.

Following Rolf Harris' conviction of the 12 sex offense charges, a spokesman from the British Academy confirmed the removal of his honour.

"The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has made the decision to annul the BAFTA Fellowship bestowed upon Rolf Harris in 2012 following his conviction," the spokesman stated to Mirror.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet Office did not comment on the case of the veteran entertainer. But under the normal protocol, the Buckingham Palace annuls the honour when a person has brought disgrace to the system.

To remove the honour of a person who was convicted of a criminal charge, the Honours and Appointments Secretariat prepares a recommendation to the Forfeiture Committee. The Forfeiture Committee's decision is sent by the Prime Minister to the Queen for her approval on the forfeture of the honour.

In the case of Rolf Harris, the case is still being considered by the Honours Forfeiture Committee and their discussions are confidential. If ever the honour is forfeited, the result will be published in the London Gazette.

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