Rolf Harris trial
Rolf Harris arrives at Southwark Crown Court with daughter Brindi (L) and wife Alwen Hughes Reuters

A letter sent by Rolf Harris to the father of a teenager he allegedly sexually assaulted has been published.

In one of the two letters Harris pleaded for the forgiveness of the father of a girl he sexually abused from the age of 13, Soutwark Crown Court heard.

The woman, who is now 49, detailed in court how she was shocked into silence when the children's entertainer, who was 48 at the time, put his hands through her towel as she emerged from a shower during a family holiday in 1978.

Harris is accused of molesting four girls aged seven to 19 between 1968 and 1986.

He denies all 12 counts of indecent assault.

Rolf Harris trial
An extract of a letter sent by Rolf Harris to the father of an alleged victim Met Police
Rolf Harris trial
Rolf Harris wrote to the father of a girl he allegedly sexually abused Met Police
Rolf Harris trial
Jurors have been shown letters sent by Rolf Harris Met Police
Rolf Harris trial
Rolf Harris signs off the letter with "please forgive me" Met Police

The jurors were shown the letters on Friday but they have only just been published.

The letter sent by Harris to a plaintiff's father in 1997

'Dear [the father],

'Please forgive me for not writing sooner. You said in your letter to me that you never wanted to see me or hear from me again, but now [the alleged victim] says it's all right to write to you.

'Since that trip up to Norfolk, I have been in a state of abject self loathing. How we delude ourselves.

'I fondly imagined that everything that had taken place had progressed from a feeling of love and friendship - there was no rape, no physical forcing, brutality or beating that took place.

'When I came to Norfolk, [the alleged victim] told me that she had always been terrified of me and went along with everything that I did out of fear of me.

'I said 'Why did you never just say no?'. And [the alleged victim] said how could she say no to the great television star Rolf Harris.

'Until she told me that, I had no idea that she was scared of me.

'She laughs in a bitter way and says I must have known that she has always been scared of me. I honestly didn't know.

'[The alleged victim] keeps saying that this has all been going on since she was 13. She's told you that and you were justly horrified, and she keeps reiterating that to me, no matter what I said to the contrary.

'She says admiring her and telling her she looked lovely in her bathing suit was just the same as physically molesting her. I didn't know. Nothing took place in a physical way until we had moved to Highlands. I think about 1983 or 84 was the first time.

'I can pinpoint a date was 1986, because I remember I was in pantomime at Richmond.

'When I see the misery I have caused [the alleged victim] I am sickened by myself. You can't go back and change things that you have done in this life - I wish to god I could.

'When I came to Norfolk, spent that time with [the alleged victim] and realised the enormity of what I had done to [the alleged victim], and how I had affected her whole life, I begged her for forgiveness and she said 'I forgive you'.

'Whether she really meant it or not, I don't know. I hope she did, but I fear she can never forgive me.

'I find it hard to like myself in any way, shape or form. And as I do these Animal programmes, I see the unconditional love that dogs give to their owners and I wish I could start to love myself again.

'If there is any way that I could atone for what I have done I would willingly do it. If there is a way I can start to help [the alleged victim] to heal herself, I would willingly do it.

'With your permission I'll phone you in a week to talk to you. If you hang up, I will understand, but I would like to talk to you to apologise for betraying your trust and for unwittingly so harming your darling [the alleged victim].

'I know that what I did was wrong but we are, all of us, fallible and oh how I deluded myself.

'Please forgive me, love Rolf.

'Please forgive me for what must have been the most insensitive thing in your eyes - sending the book for Christmas. Alwen knows nothing about all this - at the time - and rather than tell her I signed the book and wrote the platitudes with sinking heart.

'Forgive me.'

Rolf Harris trial
One letter sent to an alleged victim contained a cartoon of Rolf Harris falling over 'like a drunk' Met Police