Three Australian women come forward against paedophile Rolf Harris
Rolf Harris was re-arrested over sex assault claims after three women in Australia came forward to police
Harris was re-arrested by detectives from Operation Yewtree last week
Entertainer was first arrested in March over alleged sex offences
Three women in Australia are said to have made statements to detectives
The allegations have no link to shamed DJ Jimmy Savile, police say
By MARTIN ROBINSON
PUBLISHED: 10:25, 12 August 2013 | UPDATED: 10:38, 12 August 2013
Rolf Harris was re-arrested on suspicion of new sexual offences after three women came forward in Australia, it emerged today.
The 83-year-old was questioned last week over ‘further allegations’ made to Operation Yewtree detectives, after police in his home country passed on the information to Scotland Yard.
Harris, from Bray in Berkshire, was arrested for a second time last week after answering police bail and learning he faced additional claims.
The Australian Federal Police today confirmed to MailOnline that they are helping with the investigation.
The entertainer, who was first arrested in March, is said to be in ‘complete shock’ about the new allegations and has vowed to ‘fight them’.
In May at least two Scotland Yard detectives flew to Australia to interview a Sydney woman, named locally as Lauren Martell, 43, as part of their investigations into the allegations against Harris.
The woman did not say she was a victim, but had told the police she was a witness.
In the following days it is understood that two more women came forward and gave statements to the Met who were helped by Australian detectives.
Scotland Yard declined to comment today and the Australian Federal Police said their officers were helping the Met with their inquiries.
‘This is a massive blow to Rolf,’ a source close to him told the Daily Mirror.
‘He fully denied the original allegation but the fact that more people have come forward has come as a complete shock.
‘He completely denies all of the claims against him and will fight them.’
Police insisted that the allegations remain unconnected to paedophile Jimmy Savile, who sparked the Yewtree inquiry.
The Australian-born star is the biggest name to be arrested as part of the inquiry into historic sex offences.
He was first questioned under caution when he attended a police station by appointment in November last year.
His original accuser is a woman who claims she was sexually assaulted by him when she was a teenager.
Harris’s wife of 55 years is the Welsh sculptress and jeweller Alwen Hughes, 81.
The artist and singer received a rapturous reception from fans when he performed on London’s South Bank and in Bristol this year.
Earlier, a leaked email from his Sydney-based brother and manager Bruce Harris revealed the family’s frustration at the pace of police investigations.
Writing to a friend, Bruce said: ‘This has been dragging on for nearly seven months. The Plod in the UK are certainly taking their time.
‘We’ve been advised by Rolf’s top-notch legal team to sit tight and make no comment.’
Others held as part of Yewtree include pop star Gary Glitter, comedian Freddie Starr, DJ Dave Lee Travis, publicist Max Clifford and comedian Jim Davidson.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman confirmed Harris was ‘further arrested on suspicion of sexual offences in connection with further allegations made to Operation Yewtree’