The Perth suburb where he grew up is keen to strip all evidence of Mr Harris; there are rumours that a plaque dedicated to him is to be dug up and that he is likely to be stripped of his freeman of the town title.

Speaking to Sky NewsJohn Gangell, the mayor of Bassendean, said that Mr Harris’ actions would not be tolerated.

“Rolf’s association with the town of Bassendean and his hero status are over,” he said. “His profile will be stripped from here.”

Prime minister Tony Abbott said he felt ‘gutted and dismayed’ after hearing the news about the 84-year-old artist, and spoke of his sadness that the person people admired had been ‘a perpetrator’.

Mr Harris is currently thought to be on suicide watch, but it is is not likely that he will serve the maximum available sentence of 24 years due to his age and a range of health complaints.

Image credit: Getty