Friday, 8 April 2016

Roy Harper's Court Battle

A legend in my lifetime, a rare voice for truth and peace in the music world

Hats off to Harper for all the years he upheld the truth in a world of war, lies, banality and injustice. My feeling is that the accusations brought against him are revenge for the Jimmy Savile revelations. That big gold and black ring ‘Sir James Savile, OBE, KCSG’ wore was a Masonic ring. Apparently he was a top Freemason right up there with the royals and other satanists who hide and cover for each other. DLT wore a Masonic tie in court and got off. Doubt if Roy has (paedo) friends in high places. But he has us. Thanks Roy.

Some people, including a good friend of mine, believed that there might be something in the lyrics to 'Forbidden Fruit,' a song which Roy Harper wrote in 1974 since the offences of which he was accused were alleged to have been committed in Herefordshire between 1975 and 1977. They reckoned this could be the nail in the coffin.
Some forum comments

'Drug-taking paedophile Roy Harper claims lyrics in Forbidden Fruit were made up and not inspired by real events.'
The 72-year-old is due before Hereford Magistrates' Court on Monday accused of nine counts of sexual assault. West Mercia Police said the offences are alleged to have been committed in Herefordshire between 1975 and 1977 and relate to one victim.

"Oh God! Not Harper! Saw him live loads of times many, moons ago when you could still smoke in venues. He chain smoked spliffs throughout every gig. As did the audience. His gigs were great, as he spent half the time singing, and half the time regaling everyone with amusing anecdotes, while he had a smoke. They went on for hours!" - Binners.
"Almost certainly another bullshit story. An opportunity to cut down one of the most vocal anti establishment figures going. Don't believe the hype." - Martin Ashford (on another forum). 
Roy Harper, pictured performing on stage during the British End Of The Road Festival in 2012

A statement was issued on Roy Harper's Facebook page: "Roy vigorously denies the allegations that have been made against him and looks forward to clearing his name."

In February 2015, Roy was cleared of indecent assault on an 11 year old but a retrial was set to take place at Worcester Crown court for 30 November as there was no agreement on the other five charges. This was decided on 26 March yet reported so his fans were unsure as to what was going on. Finally, however, in early November 2015, the charges were dropped.

Trish Fitzpatrick commented on the abovementioned post on Facebook, "Delighted that the case is closed - but disgusted that it took so long!" Another fan, Helen Caswell, wrote: "What a waste of taxpayers' money. Anyone who knows his music and lyrics would appreciate the nonsensical nature of these allegations. The world is officially mad and I really hope that this has not stopped one of the finest musician/artist in the entire universe from returning to the stage. Please tour again...Please...From a dedicated admirer of your work."

Roy Harper 'angry' at court fight as sexual abuse charges dropped

Folk musician namechecked in Led Zeppelin track has spent three years maintaining his innocence, at ‘enormous’ personal and financial cost

The acclaimed folk musician Roy Harper has expressed anger and sorrow over a three-year battle to clear his name of allegations of historical sexual abuse.

Harper, who has worked with artists ranging from Paul McCartney to Kate Bush and was namechecked in a Led Zeppelin track track, walked free from court after prosecutors announced they were dropping allegations against him.

Earlier this year a jury cleared Harper, 74, of claims that he sexually abused an 11-year-old girl in the 1970s and indecently assaulted a 16-year-old girl in 1980. But it failed to reach verdicts on other charges relating to the 11-year-old and he faced a retrial. Finally, prosecutors at Worcester crown court offered no evidence on these charges on Monday.

Outside the court, Harper said he had always maintained his innocence. He said: “I have now been acquitted on all the charges that were brought. This case should never have gone as far as this, or taken so long to resolve.

“The psychological and personal cost to my wife and myself has been enormous and the financial cost hugely unfair. I lost my livelihood and I spent my savings ... and more, on my defence.

“I realise these are difficult issues at this time in this society, and I thank my lawyers for standing by me and working so hard to show the truth. Despite coming out of this without a blemish on my name, I cannot recoup my costs and that’s left me incredibly angry. 

“I’m now going to restart my working life where I left off nearly three years ago. I’d like to thank everyone who’s continued to support me. Thank you, all of you.”

Roy with Jimmy Page after the Battersea gig, July 1984

A Crown Prosecution Service spokesperson said: “We keep all our cases under constant review and in this case it was decided that based on the strength of the evidence there is no longer a realistic prospect of a conviction. We will be meeting with the complainant and her family in order to fully explain our decision.”

Harper has been a professional musician since 1964, releasing 22 studio albums and 10 live albums across his 50-year career. He has never been a household name but he continues to influence young musicians and has always been hugely admired by his peers, not least Led Zeppelin, who honoured him on their Led Zeppelin III album album by including the track Hats Off to (Roy) Harper.

He was first contacted by the police in connection with the allegations in February 2013. In September that year his first album in 13 years, Man and Myth, was released to critical acclaim. The Guardian gave it four stars and called it “an absolute corker”.

During his trial, the prosecutor Anthony Potter told the jurors that several offences against the younger victim were alleged to have occurred at the singer’s then home near Marden, Herefordshire.
The alleged victim told police Harper’s home had been an exciting place to be when she was younger because there were lots of famous people there. She told officers: “I couldn’t wait to go round there. I felt special. There were lots of famous people, it was a nice place to be.” Harper now lives in County Cork, Ireland.

Roy and Tracy Harper Worcester Crown Court 2015


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