Convicted paedophile Rolf Harris was kicked off of a school premises yesterday after the disgraced entertainer was seen waving at children in the classrooms.
Harris, 88, was pictured standing and chatting to a wood sculptor and waving to the youngsters at Oldfield Primary School in Maidenhead, Berkshire, yesterday.
Headteacher Richard Jarrett said he ordered the Australian former TV star, who was released from HM Prison Stafford in 2017, to leave the school grounds.
The school is located just a few hundred yards from the riverside home of the former entertainer which he shares with his wife Alwen.
In a statement outside the school this morning Mr Jarrett said: ‘In line with our standard procedures, an uninvited individual was asked to leave the outer perimeter of the school site yesterday, which he did without delay.
Rolf Harris leaving home this morning. Yesterday he was reported to police after approaching a wood sculptor on the outskirts of a primary school
The Australian entertainer, pictured this morning, was seen waving at the children at the Berkshire school
Police officers outside Oldfield Primary School in Bray, Maidenhead this morning
‘At no time did any of our pupils come into contact with the individual nor was the individual invited by us on to the school grounds.
‘As a precaution, this incident has been reported to TVP.’
This morning neighbours defended the artist, saying he was an ‘asset to the area’.
Harris was seen leaving his multi-million riverside home in Bray breifly this morning but did not speak to reporters.
One parent at the nearby school said he was unconcerned by the incident. The father who did not want to be named, said: ‘Because of what he does and what he is, he’s a sculptor. I think he just came in and asked for wood.
‘I think he just asked for a bit of wood. I don’t think there was anything major at the end of the day. Apparently he asked for some and the headmaster gave it to him and then he was asked to leave.
‘The way I look at it, we can’t condone what he’s done, what he’s done is awful, but he’s done his time, and he’s 88 years old. What harm can he do? If he was 40 or 50 years old, and capable of doing something I’d be concerned.
‘In terms of where he was, it wasn’t a clever move. He’s a known convict. But he lives a few doors down from here, it’s almost unavoidable.’
Headteacher of Oldfield Primary School in Maidenhead Mr Jarrett told Harris to leave after chatting with him briefly
Rolf Harris was jailed for five years for indecent assault on young girls – but was seen waving at primary school children today
Yesterday heateacher Mr Jarrett said to the Daily Mirror: ‘We have got a pick-up and drop-off point at the school, which is 20 metres from a main road, and we have got two forms of security.
‘We’ve got a wood sculptor working close to the road at the moment and Rolf Harris lives about three doors down from the school.
‘He must have seen him [the sculptor] and come into the school area. He had no access to the children whatsoever.
‘I went over and shook his hand and introduced myself.
‘He explained what he was doing – that he was getting some wood from the sculptor. I said, ‘You need to go’.’
Harris was ordered to serve five years and nine months in prison for 12 indecent assaults on teenage girls between 1968 and 1986.
Although he lives nearby it was the first time he appeared at the school, Mr Jarrett said.
Harris was seen outside the school chatting to a sculptor and waving at the pupils in the window of the Berkshire premises
Mr Harris, 88, was jailed for five years and nine months in 2014 after being convicted of crimes against teenage girls
‘An asset to the area’
This morning neighbours and campaigners defended the disgraced celebrity.
One elderly male neighbour said: ‘It’s horrendous how the press are harassing him. You know his only interest was looking at some wooden sculptures.
‘He’s an asset to the area, he’s been a tremendous supporter of any charity we’ve been part of.
‘He’s very ill, he’s not well. His wife is bed bound, she’s not well.
‘We know he had sex with a 15-year-old but we find it terribly sad that the end of his life has been marred by continual investigation into what happened 30 or 40 years ago.’
Another male neighbour putting out rubbish described the outrage in the local community as ‘nonsense’.
He said: ‘There is some wood work being done at the edge of the school. He went and asked for some wood from it. He’s a sculptor. This is all silly stuff.’
Lizzie Cornish, 63, who runs Support Justice for Rolf Harris, speculated he was ‘merely waving’ to children while discussing art with the wood sculptor.
She went on: ‘Headmaster goes out, shakes Rolf’s hand, explains he can’t be on school grounds, Rolf realizes his mistake immediately, leaves straight away…..Head feels he has to inform police, I’d imagine in case any child told their parents, thus putting him in awkward situation.’
The teacher also said he informed police.
Parents and relatives of children at the school were stunned by what they saw when a person who took images shared them.
Grandad John Thirkell, 69, told the Daily Mirror: ‘Why would he want to be waving at kids? He’s already given himself a terrible name.
‘I think the head teacher did the right thing telling him to go and if he’s got any sense he won’t come back.’
Harris was convicted of 12 indecent assaults at London’s Southwark Crown Court in June 2014, one on an eight-year-old autograph hunter, two on girls in their early teens, and a catalogue of abuse against his daughter’s friend over 16 years.
He was jailed for five years and nine months, but released from HMP Stafford in May 2017 after serving less than half the sentence.
However while in prison his fortune grew thanks to his firm RHE Investments’ holdings which has amassed nearly £4million.
He and daughter Bindi stepped down as directors of the firm set up in 2012 but his wife of 60 years, Alwen, remains the secretary.
Bindi Nicholls, 54, has revealed plans to pen a tell-all book about life with her father after sticking with him throughout his prison term and trial.
In documents obtained by the Daily Star Sunday, Bindi defends her father’s behaviour and argues he is simply from a different era.
Ms Nicholls has already created several draft pages of the book in which she slams the courts and claims her father is ‘no kiddy fiddler’.
The Ministry of Justice said: ‘When sex offenders are released they are subject to strict licence conditions and are liable to be returned to custody for breaching them. We are looking into these reports and will take appropriate action.’