"Making allegations loudly and forcefully does not make them true": Defence counsel's case against convicting Rolf Harris.

"Making allegations loudly and forcefully does not make them true": Defence counsel's case against convicting Rolf Harris. Photo: Getty Images

Prosecutors have "trashed" Rolf Harris' reputation, but they have fallen a long way short of proving him guilty of sexual assault, a court has been told.

The Crown tried to paper over the weaknesses in its case against the 84-year-old Australian entertainer with aggression and name-calling, his defence counsel Simon Ray said in his closing speech to the jury.

Prosecutor Sasha Wass QC had called Mr Harris a demon, a pervert and a liar in her own closing speech last week.

But Mr Ray said Harris, despite his shame and embarrassment over an adult affair with one of the complainants, should be believed when he denied assaulting any of his accusers.

He had entered into a "sporadic, illicit, somewhat low-rent adult relationship" with the complainant, but "that doesn't make him a criminal".

Harris has pleaded not guilty to 12 charges of indecently assaulting four girls between 1968 and 1986.

Counsel Simon Ray said Ms Wass QC had "resorted to name-calling" in a series of aggressive assertions, but the problems with the prosecution case could not be brushed aside.

"Making allegations loudly and forcefully does not make them true," he said.

There were "awkward and uncomfortable" omissions in the case against Harris that created "unavoidable doubt" about the entertainer's guilt, such as the lack of corroborating evidence that Harris was present in the places and times that his accusers claimed.

Mr Ray said it was unfair on his client to use his lack of memory, or his mistakes in recollection, against him given the amount of time that had passed since the alleged assaults.

"It is much easier to make allegations like this than to rebut them," Mr Ray said.

His personal life had been exposed and dissected including his so-called "dark side", which was nothing more than the private life that everyone has, Mr Ray said.

Harris gave affectionate bear-hugs that left him open to people making false accusations.

And while he had confessed to an adult affair with the main complainant, and was ashamed and regretful of that fact, the jury should ask how unusual this was "in a human lifetime", and whether it was enough to make them sure he was guilty of the crimes he is accused of.

Mr Ray said the complainant had become an antisocial alcoholic by the time she first alleged to her parents that Harris had abused her.

By that time she and Mr Harris had ended their "awkward, singularly cringeworthy and regrettable" relationship that began when he was 53 and she was 18.

Mr Ray said the complainant had invented her claim of abuse at the hands of Harris because of her regret and confusion over the relationship, as a "convenient way of explaining the desperate and sad state her life had become".

Mr Ray said it was "incredible" to claim that Harris had assaulted the girl in his daughter Bindi's own bedroom while she was present. If he had, and Bindi had noticed, she would never have supported him during the court case.

He called it a "cheap shot" by a "desperate" prosecution to introduce evidence about the money Bindi was set to inherit from her father.

And he said there was no evidence that Harris had 'groomed' his victim "beyond theories about pets and Animal Hospital" raised by Ms Wass.

Mr Ray said Australian complainant Tonya Lee, who claimed Harris had abused her at age 14 on a youth theatre tour of the UK, had enjoyed the fame that her story had brought her.

But the jury should note "the ease with which she has lied in the past … lied well and convincingly", even to police, and the way her "story has evolved and changed depending on whom she was talking to".

"She has shifted her account with apparent ease to gloss over the problems she has encountered," Mr Ray said.

Mr Ray also questioned why so many of the character witnesses who claimed Harris had assaulted them had kept photos taken with their attacker.

"One thing is certain, Mr Harris' reputation has effectively been trashed, it will never be the same again," Mr Ray said to the jury in conclusion.

"Maybe your own childhood memories have been altered. But after all of that, when you take a step back, have the prosecution come close to satisfying you (of Harris guilt)?

"You may conclude they have fallen a long way short of that."

The defence's final address to the jury was delayed several times last week, by legal argument and then by the sudden illness of his senior counsel Sonia Woodley QC.

On Monday Ms Woodley was replaced by junior barrister Simon Ray, who has been at her side throughout the trial.

Mr Justice Sweeney told the jury at Southwark Crown Court he would deliver his own summing up address on Tuesday, and they would likely retire to consider their verdict on Wednesday.