rolf harris
Rolf Harris was found guilt of 12 counts of indecent assaultReuters

The sentence handed down to disgraced entertainer Rolf Harris has been referred to the Attorney General's Office for being "unduly lenient".

Harris, 84, was sentenced to five years and nine months after he was found guilty of 12 counts of indecent assault on four women as young as seven or eight at the time of the offences.

He was sentenced as per the guidelines when the offences took place between 1968 and 1986. Harris is expected to serve only half his term, with the remainder on licence upon his release.

An Attorney General's Office spokesperson said: "I can confirm that the sentence handed to Rolf Harris today has been referred to the Attorney General's Office under the unduly lenient sentence scheme.

"It only takes one person to trigger the process, and there is a strict 28 day time period, which means the Law Officers have until Friday 1 August to consider whether they wish to refer the sentence to the Court of Appeal."

Former BBC broadcaster Stuart Hall had his jail time increased from 15 to 30 months after his sentence was referred to the Attorney General's Office, following his conviction for child sex offences.

Upon sentencing Harris, Judge Justice Sweeney said the star had used his celebrity status to abuse his victims and take advantage of their trust.

He said: "For well over 50 years you have been a popular entertainer and TV personality of international standing with a speciality in children's entertainment.

"You are also an artist of renown. You have been the recipient of a number of honours and awards over the years, you have done many good and charitable works and numerous people have attested to your positive good character.

"But the verdicts of the jury show that in the period from 1969 to 1986 you were also a sex offender, committing 12 indecent assaults on four victims who were variously aged between eight and 19 at the time.

"In every case the age gap between you and the victim was a very considerable one. You clearly got a thrill from committing the offences while others were present or nearby. Whilst others did not realise what you were doing their presence added to the ordeal of your victims.

"You have shown no remorse for your crimes at all. Your reputation now lies in ruins, you have been stripped of your honours but you have no one to blame but yourself."

One of Harris' victims, an Australian woman, Tonya Lee, who waived her right for anonymity to reveal how Harris had assaulted when she was 15 in 1986, said her "childhood innocence was gone" the moment she was assaulted by Harris.

A second victim, a friend of Harris' daughter Bindi, spoke of how years of abuse at the hands of Harris left her "psychologically destroyed" resulting into a descent into depression and alcoholism.

Peter Watt, director of national services at the NSPCC, said Harris was "opportunistic and brazen" in targeting young girls.

He added: "He took advantage of their trust in him and we heard through the evidence of his courageous victims just how profoundly damaging his abuse was on them for decades after.

"Harris has not shown any remorse for what he has done and treated the whole court case like just another performance. Thankfully the jury saw through this charade and he will now have a considerable amount of time to reflect on the impact of his crimes."