Rolf Harris’s arrest on suspicion of sexual offences has hit people hard. He’s just that guy who sings funny songs and asks “can you guess what it is yet” in an Aussie accent on TV, right?
The 83-year-old children’s TV presenter, artist and CBE was identified in this morning’s Sun newspaper on a front page splash. The paper defied a media embargo in place since November last year when Rolf’s house was searched by police. The paper even went so far as to print a dummy page to hold on to the exclusivity to the last moment:
Very few details are available and, crucially, the police have refused to confirm the name. It appears that Rolf was arrested in March “on suspicion of sexual offences” and bailed until some time in May while enquiries were conducted.
The public reaction, so far, has been mixed:
But, ladies and gents, let’s not jump to conclusions. There’s a reason the police placed an embargo on the press, and a reason why the Sun broke it. Rolf is actually the 12th arrest as part of Operation Yewtree – the police investigation started since presenter Jimmy Savile was outed for child sexual abuse – and in Rolf’s case the police were clear that he was not being investigated in connection with Savile’s wrongdoings.
According to the BBC, the other 12 arrests include PR consultant Max Clifford, comedians Freddie Starr and Jim Davidson, and DJ Dave Lee Travis. They deny wrongdoing.
Rolf Harris, most certainly, is not Jimmy Savile. No sooner was Jimmy Savile outed than the press went out to find as many dodgy photos as possible. They were not in short supply:
If indeed Rolf Harris is guilty of any form of sexual abuse, he should be stripped of his honours and face the legal system – something Savile got away from. But he’s not guilty, in the eyes of the law, yet.
Bottom line: as the police have not yet completed their investigation, let’s not try and do it for them.