Roy Harper – Dissident on trial.


I’ve just come back from giving a character reference at the Crown Court in Worcester for Roy Harper.

I can’t help thinking that all this historical sex scandal business has got completely out of hand. Nobody is condoning sexual impropriety or paedophilia. If there was abuse of young girls the perpetrators should have been brought to justice.Why wait forty years?

I can’t help thinking that all of this is one horrible fabrication.

I have looked at the case against Roy and it looks flaky and spurious. I cannot see Roy as the raper of a young girl. It does not ring true.

There are times when you look at the legal system and think it has gone mad. we are not talking about justice or fairness; the law is a game. The solicitors pocket the money and a game is played out. It has nothing to do with justice.

Roy was having a late flourish. His album was gaining awards and selling. He was selling out the Festival Hall, writing a new album and being feted by a host of stars.

It all came to an abrupt end. Nobody will touch him with a barge-pole. The album is no longer selling. He has sunk all his savings into his defence. His reputation is destroyed. harper01aThere is no touring; no follow-up album and Roy and Tracy have had two and a half years of hell that have taken their toll.

The accuser is anonymous. Roy’s life is shattered.

Roy is no Jimmy Saville serial predatory paedophile. What on earth is going on?

One of Britain’s greatest dissidents, musician, poet and outspoken critic of the establishment is being hounded and destroyed. Something is wrong. Surely there needs to be a statute of limitations of twenty years on these sort of things? Surely there needs to be dual anonymity? Surely there has to be stringent Crown Prosecution assessment of whether a crime has been committed? You can’t just destroy someone’s life like this!

139 thoughts on “Roy Harper – Dissident on trial.

  1. i have been a diehard devotee, of Roy Harper’sincredible songs& music, since about..1971,, got ALL hisalbums, seen him live sooo many gigs, over 4 decades, Roy knows me, from aclose personal friend,we both shared(jamesedgar), i love the man, no-onesperfect, ..the 60’s/70’s bred a LOT of free-sex,etc, whos kidding who, BUT, this court-case against him..Stinks..who the heck is this ‘phantom witness’, cant even get to her name?.i dont believethat one should put a person ,at Roy’s current age,through this ‘attack’ against his Character..40 yearslater??.it should NOT behappening ,to him!!!feel very upset,and Sad,asdo ALL my fellow Harper mates,too….A witch-hunt..NOT a’trial’ ,at all

    1. I used to know James Edgar. He was a great photographer/designer/artist and a sad loss.
      I have been a friend of Roys for decades and am mortified by what is happening to him. The pressure has been immense for over two years now. It is almost intolerable. There is something wrong with a system that treats people this way. Innocent until proved guilty? Trying telling that to anyone who’s been through the system. You have to fight like mad to prove your innocence.
      The other person remains anonymous. Your career, reputation and every penny you have is gone.
      It is hardly justice.
      You do not even have to have the slightest shred of evidence – just an accusation! It is scandalous!

  2. And if they find him not guilty, they leave themselves wide open to a counter suit. No, they are going to send him down because cunts run the world now.

    1. I cannot believe they can find him guilty. What possible evidence could there be after 40 years? It’s nonsense.
      When he is found not guilty I think we should hold one almighty celebration!!!

      1. Another two weeks and….I will be having a glass of Shiraz to celebrate and having an evening of Roy’s music. Met Roy at Robert’s daughters wedding……lovely guy to talk with…..wishing you all the best Roy

  3. There is no statute of limitation in the UK for this type of crime although there is in the USA. There must be some evidence other than a naked accusation otherwise the matter would not have proceeded to trial. I was once arrested for being an accessory to a serious crime because the complainant made a police statement that he had seen me in the back of a van at a specific time and day. By coincidence it was later shown that I was visiting someone in Leeds Prison at the same time and date so I could not have been in the van. The complaint was dropped. I haven’t seen the evidence in this case but there is likely to be circumstantial evidence such as the accuser and the defendant being in the same place at the same time. The jury’s decision will probably come down to which person(s) they believe in their oral evidence. If the judge thought the prosecution evidence was so weak no jury could safely convict on the basis of it, he should withdraw the case from their consideration and direct a finding of not guilty. I must say Roy Harper has not helped himself with some of the lyrics he has written but I hope he is acquitted. Unfortunately, an acquittal will be a Pyrrhic victory since he likely will be financially ruined and his remaining career irreparably damaged. That is the UK legal & social system and it applies to equally to everyone as I know full well.

    1. ” There must be some evidence other than a naked accusation otherwise the matter would not have proceeded to trial” If only this were true ! Britain post 2012 savile fiasco means any man can be in court based on nothing more than an allegation, there doesn’t need to be Any supporting evidence. Often so called supporting evidence is “hearsay” from the “victim’s” friends or family nothing more. I know nothing of the Harper case but I know how easy it is for an innocent man to be accused of sexual offences, charged and even convicted in Britain 2015. Justice is dead

      1. You don’t understand what hearsay evidence is. If the victim reports details of the alleged incident to a 3rd person then that person comes forward later to report the details of the conversation, that is not hearsay evidence & it is admissible in court proceedings.
        Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone on O2

  4. You are clearly bias because Roy Harper is a friend. Justice is part of the legal system. It means a defendant gets a fair trial and is judged by his peers not a legal professional. Anonymity for the complainant in “sex trials” is standard, whether one agrees with it or not, so he’s not been treated any differently from others. Your contention that his trial is some form of conspiracy by the Establishment is ridiculous in my view. Most people in 21st century Britain have never heard of Roy Harper & I can see no suggestion that the police have fabricated evidence against him. If he is cleared at least he will be free to continue working in his trade and earn some money. Unfortunately the way our society works, for some people he will be tainted irrespective of an acquittal but he will still have many supporters. You could spend a few quid to hire a venue for a fund-raising gig to contribute toward his legal costs which will be substantial. You could make it an all-day event with filming of recorded concerts, maybe even the film “Made”. I’ll buy a ticket. I’m sure some famous rock stars would support it.

    1. I do not think that Roy is being necessarily targeted by the establishment though it is remarkable that he should be singled out when there are far greater examples in the House of Commons itself. We are only hearing snippets concerning the politicians, wealthy patrons and aristocracy who supposedly carried out systematic abuse of young children even snuff movies and baby rape. Perhaps that would be more worthy of investigation to see if those allegations have foundation. Roy is small fry indeed compared to what has been apparently going on there.
      I am curious as to why allegations were made after forty years? Why the Crown Prosecution decided to proceed? Why the police decided to follow up this particular accusation?
      It is not as straightforward as you suggest. Decisions were made to prosecute him. I contend that they probably should not have done. To break someone on these charges should have an extremely robust foundation. This seems flimsy to me. The outcome for the accused, even if exonerated, is dire.

  5. I must admit that Bernard is talking sense and has a very good point , the system is what it is but as much as we love Roy’s music we all know the ravages and excess of the Zeppelin parties. I agree that if he is not found guilty their should be some counter suing, the question is if I read correctly there are two independent victims and most victim of sex offenders only come out years later due to hurt and trauma, being a psychologist myself . Our zeal and passion for Roy’s music should not blindside cold realities that mistakes like these were standard par in the seventies with groups like Wishbone Ash and Thin Lizzie getting some close calls . We have seen close calls with Pete Townshend, Cliff Richard and locked up for a certain Aussie knighted by the queen and her spokesman ? I will not caste judgement on Roy but neither the system because we might very well then be casting judgement on the victims ?

    1. I hear what you are saying. I am all in favour of victims of rape or child abuse receiving justice. I am also sure that it may well take years for them to be in a position to take this further.
      What I am also aware of is that it is easy to make accusations and the effect on someone accused of heinous crimes against children is enormous. I cannot begin to imagine the pressure.
      The legal system is slow. It takes years. That is already a sentence for someone. If they are innocent it is appalling.
      The decision to prosecute should be considered extremely carefully by police and the Crown Prosecution. There should be substantial grounds to proceed. I am not convinced there always is.
      I believe the celebrity prosecutions for historical offences in the wake of the monster of Saville has not always been well thought through. I do not share your view that the legal system is fair.
      In the case of Roy Harper I cannot see how he will have much recourse for justice in suing someone who probably has no money if he is found innocent.

      1. i cannot but totally agree,with Opher,here,Roy is NOT being accused of child rape,or peadophilia,,…i ,too do not agree that our so-called’ legal system ‘is , the least bit ‘fair’..never has been ,never will be!!its quite often massively the Opposite..i also agree,totally here,with Opher, that i see absolutely NO substantial ‘grounds’ for this out-dated ‘prosecution’,which is supposed to have occurred over HALF a lifetimeago!1????..what ARE the REAL reasons,for prosecuting a person such as roy Harper ,here? say his nameishardly known,to most common folk?..are you kidding?.he has knocked about,with so many world-famous Musicians,over the decades(Gilmour/Bush/Page/Moon/Lane/Anderson/Page)..hes bloomin ‘famous,….plus, the’ ol Bill(lets be real, here).must have had some pretty novel ‘Encounters’,with Roy,over the course of history..there’s more than meets the obvious eye,here,one suspects..and, i must say,too,it isn’t simply a case of ‘turning a blind eye’,simply because of his magnificent talent,either,No,..but more a case of genuinely supporting ‘an Underdog’ ,who ,at his late stage,in Life,and ,with a Career upturn he was amazingly enjoying, i really really feel,most strongly , does NOT deserve to be DRAGGED through the cruel media MANGLE, in such an UNfair manner from what i’ve been hearing& reading in thespuriousPress articles,..there is NO real,’substantiated’ EVIDENCE!!!!!!!
        ,if his career is ruined, Cash dissappears, then there really is NO Justice left!!!!!

      2. I know im only saying what has already being said, but irrespective of whether its Roy Harper or anyone else, and of course most of us cannot be sure of guilt or innocence at this stage, dual anonymity is the only fair and just way. I dont believe there should be any statute of limitations for child abuse or any sexual abuse, if the evidence is there, but it does seem that its thin on the ground in this case. If he comes out of the other end of this an innocent man, which i believe he is, he will never be free of the taint to his reputation or the damage thats already been done. Anonymity should always remain an option to the accused person until and only if they are found guilty. Anything less is scandalous.

      3. I think you are completely right. Nobody understands the stress of being accused of such a crime. The effect is traumatic. When we have a legal system that presumes innocence until proven guilty it is preposterous that the accused person’s name is released and the police do this to fish for other complainants. That creates huge stress and is simply wrong. Roy’s career, which was having a renaissance, was cut dead and the mud will stick regardless! That is not right!

      4. Having only recently read the comments on here, and probably missed a few, i’m still not sure of the present situation ( 1/11/15). Did the cps bring fresh charges or not ? If anyone can enlighten me id be grateful.

  6. Thank you for your support of my view! I have been out all evening but it is heartening to hear your agreement.
    I do not see how this can be fair.
    I do understand that the lady concerned may possibly be a victim but I cannot see how there could be any evidence to substantiate her claim after forty years! It seems wrong to me to destroy someone like this. If Roy is innocent he has been put through a terrifying experience.

  7. Disarmed !! I am not privy to the British legal system but if it is anything like my countries , then cannot be trusted . I agree that a stigma like this , even if found innocent destroys you either way, financially and in status, notwithstanding the years of bureaucratic process and yes all the signs are clearly evident that Roy is innocent , yet I still refrain from making any judgement because I know his music, but not the man. I feel for his family and the trauma they must be suffering , notwithstanding Roy who is a retired pensioner . I pray this issue to be quickened and over …as he has brought me years of joy and timeless contemplation, in my mind one of England’s last poets ….

    1. Thank you for your comments. I have known Roy for forty seven years and find it hard to believe that the man I know would commit a crime like this. I have loved his music and the way his mind works. He has been an astute commentator on society. Hopefully this nightmare will soon come to an end.

  8. I agree the legal process is protracted but is a lot faster in the UK than in most other countries. He has been on bail pending trial so his freedom was not taken from him. I know many defendants who spent months/ years on remand in prison before being acquitted. There is rarely any financial compensation for that. There are various reasons why a complainant may decide to seek retribution after a long period through the legal process. The delay should not detract from the complainant’s entitlement to justice. The crucial issues are whether the complaint is valid and whether the evidence supporting it is credible. A long delay is usually a benefit to the defendant not the complainant because potential relevant evidence will have been lost through passage of time. The function of the jury is to determine credibility and the defendant has the benefit of doubt. The general rule in determining whether to prosecute is whether there is more than a 50% likelihood of a conviction. The prosecutions, the validity of which I find hard to understand, are those where the evidence has surfaced with the assistance of someone who professes the power to reawaken subconscious thoughts usually in an organised venue where people pay to participate. That is how the evidence emerged in the case of the Coronation Street actor who was acquitted (and rightly so in my view). I find that process of securing evidence highly dangerous.

    1. Memory plays tricks with you. It is always a dangerous thing to believe you have an accurate view of events in the past – let alone forty years ago! False memories often emerge or are induced to emerge.
      Young girls experiencing their first awakening of sexuality may well be going through an extremely emotional time. Who knows what obsessions and yearnings may come to the fore? Maybe this girl is remembering fantasies?
      On the other hand I am certain that some girls have made accusations maliciously – for attention or financial reward or out of a feeling of being scorned.
      It is extremely hard to sort the genuinely abused from the others.
      I would expect the evidence would need to be robust before proceeding because of the draconian effect on the accused. In the case of serial offenders (which most abusers are) that can be substantiated through the number of stories collaborating the facts. In Roy’s case there is nothing like that.

  9. What is the current state of play in the trial? Since Thursday’s evidence from a former girlfriend of Roy’s refuting the underage “victim’s” claim that he had a blue penis (!) the story seems to have dropped out of the press entirely. What happened on Friday and how far has the trial to go?

    1. The trial has to go into next week because some of the dates put forward by a prosecution witness were wrong.
      Hopefully it will proceed quickly and be kicked out!

  10. An earlier commentator made the point that Roy isnt so famous nowadays in his view that it warrants the establishment trying to nail him like other recent celebrities. I would disagree its not about the level of his fame but the fact that he has always rubbed the establishment up the wrong way and in my view has obviously upset someone in the police or judiciary in the past and this is their opportunity for payback . Even if he is found innocent he will have suffered immensely . The anonymity of accusers in these cases must be looked at it seems insane. It seems to me a lot of these cases were of there time when attitudes were different and have got caught up with the wider issues of saville and possible establishment child abuse .

    1. If you are referring to my comment then I suggest you re-read it. I did not suggest the Establishment were warranted to instigate a prosecution because Roy Harper is not as well-known as in the 70s. I don’t subscribe to the view that the Establishment have singled out entertainers for persecution. Individuals have made complaints of serious criminal acts for whatever reason & they r entitled to have them considered by the normal investigative authorities. It’s as simple as that. You speak about Roy Harper as if he’s some high-profile political agitator. That’s ridiculous. He’s just an entertainer like Dave Lee Travis. What he has said in lyrics has had negligible impact on society other than on those who like his music & I include myself in that group.
      Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone on O2

      1. If one looks at what was going on in Rotherham and Rochdale where underage girls were being taken from care homes to be systematically raped and abused and people were repeatedly reported and even caught in the act and yet no prosecutions were forthcoming until much later. Why the sudden actions against celebrities for lesser crimes?

      2. There were numerous prosecutions in Rochdale & Rotherham. Some severe sentences in double figures were handed out. It is true as a previous comment said, that the complaints initially were either covered up or ignored by the authorities under the cloak of political correctness & multiculturalism promoted by the then Labour administration. Since then people like Simon Danzuk MP have brought the issue to prominence & the relevant authorities have been forced to act. There have been other prosecutions in Oxford & Birmingham. Further prosecutions are pending. 31 men are on bail awaiting trial in Halifax for sexual grooming offences. I can’t see how the prosecution of Roy Harper can be linked to an overall conspiracy to single out specific individuals on grounds unconnected with a citizen filing a complaint with the police of her own volition unless you have evidence that she was put up to do it. Roy Harper has no significance to me other than through his music. It is not for someone like me to judge him for what he may or may not have done in his personal life. Irrespective of the verdict I will still listen to his music.
        Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone on O2

      3. Hi there Didnt really mean to be provocative just airing thoughts on a lot of peoples question Why now ? The truth is we will all have to wait for the outcome but I do believe there is an issue to be addressed about anonymity and the principle of innocent until proven guilty .

    2. I would agree with a number of the points you are making. Perhaps anonymity needs looking at again. From my own experience with members of my family I am not so confident in the judgement of the Crown Prosecution.

  11. The fact is that there must have been significant evidence (which of course could be all lies and fabrication) against Roy for the CPS to have taken this to court in the first place. Someone else here commented by asking the question regarding what kind of evidence could be available after 40 years. The answer is ‘substantial’ evidence could be available in the form of letters, diaries and other forms of communication. Usually, the accused claims to not have been somewhere or known someone when there is substantial evidence that the contrary is true.

    But, the CPS only take cases to court they think they can win, and we have to remember that they can only go on what evidence they have been presented with from the accused and any evidence gathered to support that accusation. The evidence could be completely false and usually/hopefully under cross examination, accusers who have carefully crafted a false case often break down and get found out. Still, that doesn’t help the defendant and his or her reputation but if this happens it will be all over and the accuser will not pass go and collect £200.

    I’m a former policeman and when I joined one of the first things we were told a sexual offence is easy to accuse but difficult to prove, and it’s highly unlikely that he will be convicted on the basis of ‘Her word against his’, so I am assuming that there is other evidence. Again, it may turn out to be false and like everyone else I would be utterly disgusted if this woman had made this false claim. But if it goes the other way because there IS evidence we will all be thankful that our police have brought another abuser to account. To be honest this is what the trial is all about and although it’s not great for Roy it has to be done.

    Because we watch too many crime dramas we believe we know what’s involved in detecting crime but the hard fact is that if someone walks into a police station and makes a complaint of a serious sexual crime it simply has to be investigated – Roy Harper or Joe Public. We don’t get to here about the times a woman makes false statements and usually it becomes very obvious. Believe, me it’s one thing making a claim but when you are sat in a room with a detective interviewing you it tends to go one way or another.

    The idea that Roy has been singled out for his past political views is, in my view, ridiculous. Part of the reason why all these case get to court is that in the past they were brushed under the carpet and so now there is a kind of over compensation.The police don’t know the truth and they gather evidence and then present that evidence to the courts via the CPS.

    Let’s all wait and see. A crime was reported; an accused was identified and sufficient evidence was gathered to assume a reasonable chance of a conviction.

    1. Thank you for that. Let us hope that justice is done.
      If the woman was raped as a child then clearly something has to be done and there should be suitable punishment.
      If Roy is innocent then clearly a major injustice has been done to him by bringing the case.

      1. Yes totally agree. I would like to think that if justice is done – and it goes in Roy’s favour then he will, with the help of friends, rebuild his reputation — of that I am certain.

    2. As a former police man you will also know that policing is now target driven, or maybe you escaped before this scourge corrupted policing , far removing it from what the public imagine it to be. Anyone accused of a sexual offence against an under16 no matter how flaky will now end up in court, it really is that disturbing. Police do not investigate whether such an offence could have happened, they “believe the victim” without question, I know this from bitter personal experience and that of others in similar positions. The idea that the CPS carefully weigh up the chances of a conviction is sadly laughable, in weak cases they rely on provoking an emotional response from the jury, many who believe that the police/cps must have something to charge a man and therefore, he is guilty.

      And in the event of a not guilty verdict, you are still tainted as not guilty doesn’t equate with innocence, just insufficient evidence to convict. You are forever dogged by the accusation made against you, it is visible on any DBS checks and can mar your employment prospects forever. There is no justice for the falsely accused.

      1. I think there is some truth in what you say, FA but I believe there was far more corruption (thieving, lying etc) & falsification of evidence prior to 1984 than there is now. In any event there is no suggestion that the police have fabricated evidence in this case.
        Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone on O2

  12. I would share your suspicion of the competence of the CPS, Opher. Of course I am familiar with your matter where the cctv evidence, which was crucial, appeared to be ignored by the CPS. The same CPS (Humberside) sent me for trial to Hull Crown Court in 1997 for assaulting a neighbour for setting his dog on my peafowl. I couldn’t see how they would secure a conviction and neither did the prosecuting barrister whose advice to withdraw was rejected by the CPS and the judge who threw the case out before the trial commenced. In another case I successfully sued the Humberside Chief Constable for £3,500 over some damaged motor cycles. The CPS solicitor dealing with the defence didn’t improve his chances of success by stupidly making a statement of truth which directly contradicted a sworn statement made to obtain a search warrant. So maybe Herefordshire police have an incompetent solicitor advising in this case. Such a dullard is not uncommon in public service.

  13. I hear what you say Bede. But initially it was all swept under the carpet. It was only when the pressure became too much that it has all come to light and prosecutions resulted. It gives the impression of selectivity in who they go for. For Dave Lee Travis to be hounded in the way he was and then found guilty of a relatively minor offence seemed ludicrous.

  14. I’m a huge supporter of Roy and fan of him since i was knee high to a grasshopper and as much as I hate to admit it in the 60s, 70’s and 80’s there was an awful lot of underage girls being exploited by those in the music industry. Strangley the case of Bill Wyman and Mandy was very public and yet he managed to avoid any repurcussions as did those around him. I went to many gigs with the so called superbands of the 70s and heard the stories of what went on afterwards. I even knew two girls who despite being underage would reguarly go back to hotels with musicians….they, I can assure you were the driving force in this and never once thought in later years about phoning the police. It was what happened and whilst illegal, if the police tried to prosecute every one in the music business who took part in sex acts with under age girls the jails and courts would burst.

    As regards Roy, whether innocent or not, I find it ridiculous that after this length of time our judicial system allows this to happen based on memories alone. No witnesses, no forensics and yet this man could be effectively finished professionally by accusations. The whole recent trend of trying to prosecute ‘celebrities’ smacks of the McCarthyism of the 50’s in the USA or even the Witch trials of England and the US. Time to turn our attention to where the real crimes are being committed and it isn’t in the realms of 70’s rock stars who moved in hedonistic circles and where the mores of that time were very different to our sanatised modern world.

    1. I quite agree. You’ve put it all very succinctly. Thanks for leaving your comments. They are much appreciated.
      It seems to me that the real criminals get away with things while dissidents like Roy get the book thrown at them.
      It doesn’t seem fair.

  15. Hello All. I have been following Roy since the release of ‘Burn The World”. Travelled regularly each summer to Clonakilty and ‘De Barra’ folk club, and can only describe the experience of Roy Harper live as ‘Magical’! I was thoroughly enjoying the ‘revival’ in Roy’s career, the recognition he deserves, the musical influences and then this Nightmare is visited on him, his family and friends. I cannot imagine what he must be experiencing, and I am further dismayed by the effect you have detailed on his and Tracys health.
    The charges levelled, the duration of this process and exposure by the press must place almost unbearable pressure on Roy and consequently his ability to fight for his name and reputation. The Law must be Amended to ensure equality of rights for both parties involved, within a reasonable time frame and anonymity for accused as well as accuser. I’m confident that Roy will be cleared of all charges but I fear the stigma attached will remain and taint his talent and career. I feel so utterly helpless throughout but I really look forward to celebrating when this is thrown out of court.

  16. I have felt very strongly throughout this whole debacle that Roy is the victim of a set-up…either by the alleged victim, or possibly someone bearing a grudge against him. I firmly believe in his innocence, and will continue doing so, regardless of the outcome of this tedious trial.

  17. Thanks for your input Genie. Who knows what reasons people have? It seems flimsy evidence to me. The Crown Prosecution have not got a brilliant record for getting things right. Perhaps they need a good overhaul? Hopefully it will turn out right in the end. It seems to me that the judge should have chucked it out at the beginning.
    Thanks for your comment – Regards Opher

  18. As I understand it, the proceedings against Roy were started before his new-found celebrity due to the release of ‘Man and Myth’, and I assume that his name had surfaced as a result of Plod appealing for others to come forward as part of their wider search for paedos associated with previous cases that have gone to court.

    I was at the trial for the first couple of days, and was very impressed with Roy’s defence team, and particularly the judge, who seems very fair, thoughtful and compassionate. The defence did (IMO) make a strong case for all charges to be dropped, citing various examples of the flimsiness of the evidence and as result, the most serious charge was indeed dropped.

    But yeah, I agree with you Opher, it does appear to be a witch-hunt and the CPS seems desperate to nail him by hook or by crook.

    1. I think the new-found late success of Roy with ‘Man and Myth’ and various Radio and TV appearances triggered the complaint.
      I didn’t get to hear anything at the trial because I was a character witness. All I know is that there appears to be rather a flimsy case and no other people came forward. It strongly backs up the case that Roy is no serial sexual offender and that the charges that have been brought seem impossible to prove. Why a two and a half year wait and a trial lasting weeks?

  19. I want to state and to place on record my complete and utter support for Roy Harper i have believed in him and his music since 1978 when i first heard “One of those days in England”aged just 14 ,we all know Roy has lead a colourful and at times chaotic life and by his own bare knuckle open honesty from the stage declared that he is far from perfect,but having followed the proceedings daily reports the case against him as far as i am concerned is non existent,if Roy were to be convicted on the evidence presented to the court that i have read about it would be an absolute disgrace.Today is my Birthday I am 51 earlier this week my old mum who is 79 asked me what i wanted and i just turned to her and said “Justice for Roy and an end to this travesty ASAP” and she burst into tears.

      1. Hi Jon,
        What’s this about removing comments. I never remove comments even if I don’t agree with them. Every comment up on my site is left exactly as it is.
        I think the site is playing up a bit and comments seem to be put in the wrong place. I’m not sure what I can do about that.
        Anyway I’m sorry you experienced that. If you send it through again it’ll be there.
        I much agreed with your comments and valued them. Thanks for your inputs.
        All the best – Opher

      1. Ok Opher its just that i posted a comment on Saturday and could not see it when i looked today….so i reposted all i could remember but left off the intro which concerned when we met at Sheffield university octagon centre May 1988 when i purchased a vinyl copy of Sophisticated Beggar.I guess i just assumed that some sort of Webmaster censorship had taken place It maybe my fault that the comment did not stay up not sure if i should have posted without first confirming my whats its thingy membership.anyhow thats not important whats important is that those of us who have believed in Roy for decades are still very much behind him.I have decided that i will remain behind him whatever the verdict.

  20. There is a very old legal maxim – Justice delayed is justice denied. Roy has been denied any form of justice by an at best incompetent but most likely scared of the press legal system. This is not the Roy I have known for nearly 20 years. His intolerance to injustice would not let him behave in the manner suggested.

    1. Can’t find any info on what happened today or yesterday. Anyone know?
      Roy Fan since the 70s. Has always been a massive part of my life – seen him 30+ times. I love Roy (and Nick)

      1. There seems to be a news blackout. I don’t know if that’s good or bad. I haven’t heard anything from Roy or Tracy. Hopefully this will be concluded soon. Cheers Opher

      2. If the jury are out there won’t be anything to report. Could be out for some time if there’s a split jury.
        Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone on O2

  21. I hear what you’re saying. Forty years is a long time. Roy has always been a person who speaks out about anything he feels is wrong. He obviously upset people.

  22. I’ve known Roy personally for 35 years. He may be a lot of things, sometimes totally honest, sometimes utterly deluded. He has a self-admitted penchant for young females and, yes, in the past, he has followed up on those preferences. I’ve been to the Vauld. The atmosphere there was libertine and there was a sense that Roy could do whatever he wanted within the circle he inhabited. Don’t be naïve folks. Roy is and was no angel. Back “then” he was completely egocentric. He saw fame as a “god-given” right and his fans as merely necessary adjuncts to his own personal, professional and thus material advancement. Has he changed? Who knows? Back “then” he willingly used people to get whatever he wanted. Back “then” he showed little restraint. There is no point introducing as a line of defence his undoubted musical and intellectual abilities. This is, at its core, another issue, despite the facrt that his fame allowed him the status and protections that may, in this case, have allowed him to explore, without moral restraint or social condemnantion (back “then”) his sexual or emotional urges and impulses. Is he a paedophile? No…almost certainly not. Did he stray into moral error? Quite possibly. All I can say is this: be honest Roy. Tell the truth. Now is not the time to add deceit to the record. Just tell the truth.

    1. Hi Leila,
      I don’t think anybody is under any illusions about Roy. He has been quite wild but a paedophile, as you rightly say, he isn’t.

      1. For sure he is not Opher, and this is something about which careful distinctions need be made. Recklessness or stupidity are not the same as moral perversion. I’m reminded of “we the ammoral men…we dare, naked and fearless in the elements”. The problem (for Roy), is that risk-taking can lead to dire consequences when the moral compass of an age shifts on its axis. Actions that were once seen as a bit of “harmless play” or even a genuine emotional/psycho-spiritual sentiment as one tried to figure out who one actually was in the context of a very conflicted and turbulent social environment are today seen as debauched, sick, an exploitation of “innocence”. The whole thing has gone to far. I wonder how many observers of this “trial” can honestly say they are spotlessly clean and in the clear if they look back on their own lives. Hence my point about the truth. As long as Roy tells the truth to himself, nothing else should matter. Easier said than done…

      2. Thanks for that Leila.
        There does seem to be a new moral hypocrisy that is around today. It is strange. While youngsters freely indulge in sex without much thought there is a puritanical attitude that pervades. It’s like the fifties all over again.
        Somehow we have to find the balance in protecting children and allowing people to have freedom. I do not believe Roy was a paedophile. If his sexual life has involved neither rape nor abuse of minors then it is no one elses business aside from him and his partners.

  23. The first record cover I saw with the lyrics of Short and Sweet had “ammoral” as opposed tio “immoral”. I always felt the former summed up Roy’s appproach to life more than the latter and this is probably another distinction that could/should be made.

    1. Leila Waddell, I agree with your analysis of the case but I don’t agree that sex by an adult with an 11 year old girl was anymore socially or morally acceptable in the 70s than now & that such events were ignored by the legal system. Bill Wyman would have been prosecuted if Mandy Smith had been willing to give evidence against him. That’s clearly why he fled to France (where the age of consent was 13) when the story broke.
      Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone on O2

    2. Roy is a liberterian. He believes in being free to indulge within the limits he sets. He claims to be amoral in that he determines his own morality rather than having it imposed upon him. Morality and criminality are different things. If he has commited no crime then it should be his choice.

  24. It is an assumption that Bill Wyman “fled to France” for the reasons you suggest(unless he has told you that peersonally) . It woiuld be wise, also, to bear in mind that Roy is int until proven guilty. Assumptions and speculatuoins are flawede standpoints when it comes to matters which have the potential to destroy a man’s life.

    1. About Bill Wyman. It’s a fair assumption based on the facts which is how juries decide. No sorry, he went to buy some cheap booze!! No one is saying Roy Harper is guilty. That’s the function of the trial & decision for the jury to make.
      Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone on O2

      1. Presuming one is in possession of ALL the facts before one makes the assumption. Obviously neither you nor I are in such a position with regards to Bill Wyman or the current Roy Harper trial, so I rest my case.

      2. Rarely are all the facts available in a trial & I speak from more than 40 years experience of dealing with them
        Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone on O2

  25. If one is not considered innocent before being proven otherwise and is not treated as such in the community we have advanced very little since Salem. The idea that one can be publicly crucified to sell newspapers should be anathema to all reasonable people. This is the point Opher has been trying to make and one that all here should heed. If it can happen to Roy it could happen to anyone/everyone else. Let there be an investigation but let it be undertaken with due respect to the reputation of the accused should he be found to be innocent…carried out in such a way so as not to abrogate his/her right to privacy. Without this there is no real justice.

    1. Very well put! Roy has already been destroyed. His career is in tatters; his reputation shattered. The album, awards, TV, Radio, tour, new album – all gone. Yet he is supposedly innocent until proven guilty. That’s not justice. When he is found innocent he cannot reclaim the hundreds of thousands lost; he cannot remain untarnished.
      There is a strong case for anonymity. The two and a half year wait is worse than a sentence.
      This does not seem fair.

  26. I am a strong advocate of supporting the anonymity of child victims of crime….whilst they are children. For adults to hide behind this is unjust and indefensible. For all I know I could have been at a Roy gig with victim 1. I have known Roy since 1982, 2 years after first hearing his music. I do not believe him capable of the crimes alleged. I loath the sensationalist headlines that trumpeted the start of the trial and threatened to convict Roy by trial by media alone. The subsequent reported prosecution reports seem to have silenced the media and we waited in hope. The defence undermined critical prosecution comments. We still wait. I am rooting for Roy and Tracy. His acquittal will not remove the tarnish, but I hope those celebrity friends who have previously lauded him will return to celebrate his genius again.

    1. Thanks for that Andrew.
      The Press are terrible. But the effects of being named in a case like this is horrendous. When it drags on for years it seems extreme. One only has to look at the effect it has had on the health of other celebrities, guilty and innocent, who have been dragged through the same. For an innocent person to be subjected to this type of pressure is wrong. There has to be a better way. The justice system as a whole is in need of an updating and overhaul.

    2. One of the reasons anonymity was introduced fairly recently in cases of this kind is illustrated by the Ched Evans rape case where after the complainant’s name was published, she received numerous death threats & had to move home & change her identity. I agree the Press are often irresponsible as illustrated in the Chris Jeffries case but Roy Harper hasn’t been treated any differently from any other high-profile person. I’ve not read anything which says he is guilty. I’ve been in a similar situation so far as pre-trial publicity is concerned except I was banged up for 7 months solid on remand for a conspiracy charge of which I was acquited. At least Roy Harper has been on bail so he can sort his affairs in case it goes the wrong way.
      Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone on O2

      1. I think you’ve highlighted a number of things wrong with the system. Innocent people banged up for 7 months? Some are in for years? How can that be right?
        Perhaps there is a need to have swifter process?

      2. I agree but that’s possible only in a perfect system. Our system is far from perfect but it is reasonable in comparison to many other countries. I’ve suffered from the system but I’m not complaining. In many countries like Russia, Mexico I wouldn’t have been afforded a trial. I would have had a bullet in the head beforehand courtesy of the authority I had offended.
        Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone on O2

      3. This is the 21st century. I think the justice system belongs to the 19th. No matter what other countries do. We should be modern, civilised and better. There’s no excuse.

    1. The jury is out and has been all day. They will resume tomorrow and continue until they have reached a verdict. If they are split that could be some time. That’s all I know. Cheers Opher

  27. Thanks for the update. I note that Roy did not take the witness box himself. The press are reporting that the allegations have left him with “The brain of a 90 year old man”, and that he would be unable to process the information/questions.

    This is all very sad. Let’s hope that the jury come straight back in and clear him.

    1. They’ve been out all day. I bet there’s a lot of hot air flying. I just wish they had come to a quick decision. It looks like they might be split over one or other of vthe charges. I just wish it was over. I think it has really taken its toll on Roy’s health.

      1. Which is possibly an indicator of his innocence. It seems that falsely accused persons tend to suffer more than those who know that fate has finally caught up with them, with the exception of those who simply cannot and will not admit that they are subject to the same rules as the mere mortals with whom they share this worl

  28. This is a nightmare for me, I can’t imagine what it is like for Roy and his family.

    I’m dreading this even more due to my very recent experience of sitting on a jury, knowing that half the people in there seemed to have very little in the way of any ability to think for themselves.

    Most people on the juries I was on seemed to want to convict the accused just because they looked guilty, or they were “scum” etc. Only a handful of people seemed to take a careful approach, stressing that you have to be sure beyond reasonable doubt, that these people were human beings whose lives and reputations were at stake. It’s all very well coming straight out with “Guilty” and then going home to sleep in your own bed, when a potentially innocent person is then sentenced to whatever future in prison. The same goes the other way, of course, guilty people can walk free, but the general mindset of people on jury duty (that I found) did not scream at me that these defendants were innocent until proven otherwise.

    I know this is our system, and it is generally successful, but my own first experience of it has left me quite sure that juries often get it wrong.

    Fingers, toes, everything crossed for Roy.

    1. It gives lesser men a feeling of power to hold the fate of others in their hands. It’s basic human nature and it’s the kind of thing Roy has been railing against for years. It’s all very grim.

      1. Power nearly always corrupts.
        I think it was Jefferson who said – ‘Most men can cope with adversity but give a man power and you see the true nature of his character’.
        Or something like that. How true.

    2. The problem here is that the juries are not being asked to judge Guilt. They are being asked to determine whether the events occurred at all. If they declare Not Guilty they are labelling a Victim as a liar or a fantasist, so there is a huge moral pressure for them to accept that the events at least MAY have taken place. Once they have gone that far, then the Guilty verdict in inevitable. Add in the CPS’s “Victims must be believed” mantra, which the Judge will undoubtedly press upon the jurors, and it is going to be very hard to get a Not Guilty.

      Roy’s best chance lies in being in an unfashionable and more provincial court where folk might be less “metropolitan”. If he was in Southwark he would have even less chance.

      A guy in Manchester (Ray Teret) was recently found Not Guilty of 60% of the rapes he was charged with, but the 40% he was declared guilty of resulted in a 25 year sentence. Nobody in the system is asking how on earth it can be that 60% of the complainants might be lying nor how it was that the CPS could not see through those lies, and that if this could be so, how on earth can we be so sure beyond ALL DOUBT about any of this. The man denied all charges and continues to declare his innocence. This means he will never be released and as he is already over 70 will die behind bars.

      1. Juries seem to be a lottery. The courts are about process not justice. Fairness and the effect on people is not taken into account. It needs a big overhaul.

      2. After the Teret case was concluded, as is often the case, a victim’s story appeared in the press. This … quote forms the end of her statement.

        ““But the hugeness of what he had done, I didn’t realise at the time. As an adult, I do. I didn’t allow myself to go there, to think about it… It was only when I did the police video interview it all became really apparent, that he had abused his position… that he was a child abuser, a paedophile, that he was the devil’s work.”

        It speaks for itself as to what seems to be going on in more than one of these cases. I’ll let that be my last word.


  29. The jury are obviously confused, it would seem there is grave doubt that CPS have produced a cogent case and are relying on the ‘lets get the celebrity’ syndrome to prove their case. Trial by media and inuendo create punishment by defamation before any proof. There is no redress against namelss accusers who have no substance and a legal system that gives them a platform for their 5 minutes. There must be change for all parties to these situations.

    1. I quite agree. It does not seem fair or feel like justice. The defamation and two years of relentless pressure have been worse than a jail sentence and put an end to his career and reputation. It’s a sad state of affairs.

  30. “Evidence”? Men are being sent on nothing more than hearsay – from unknowns to, since 2012, famous “heads on spikes”. I’ll leave you some further reading on this, but there is no evidence that any of the ‘celebrities’ accused, tried and even convicted did the crimes they were accused of. It is very much a ‘witch hunt’ and an extremely contrived one. The links below should help paint a realistic picture – and they aren’t crank/fansites, this is the kind of investigative journalism that should be getting published in the mainstream but never will be. If you’re looking into this afresh, there is a lot to read though. Ask yourself though, how powerful can ‘the state’ be if false allegations can bring innocent men down like this?
    P.S. Just heard Roy’s been cleared on one charge, which suggests the jury are still in two minds of the others (ergo they’re confused)

  31. Once you’ve swallowed the biggest lie ever told, the smaller ones seem like no mouthful at all. Take a look at the world post-savilisation and ask yourself, “Does the world seem to make more sense now?… or less.”

    Poor Mr. Harper is a just another victim of a system that has been built on the biggest lie of all.

    I can say that I spent something like two or more hours in the company of Mr. harper in about 1977, along with several hundred others. he touched every single one of us, in our soul. There is an evil afoot in England and I hope that one day such a poet may even be able to write about it.

      1. I hope that fairness prevails. Roy has done great good on many levels. He has helped countless fans explain themselves to themselves. However, genius can be flawed. That said, there should be some way of balancing the demonstrable and proven good against the supposed or alleged, especially when these are not supported by hard, irrefutable evidence, however heinous the claims may seem. Justice must not deal with (or in) fiction. Allegations must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. The man has worked tirelessly for decades to elevate consciousness, not drag it down into some mire. Opher, you and your friends know this to be true, as do I. Unfortunately, Roy is not being jusged by a jury of “peers”.

  32. I see he has been acquitted of one of the charges, which is excellent news. Clearly the jury are split on the remaining charges, which may be a positive as if there can be shown that there is any doubt the judge will throw it out.

    I shall be keeping everything crossed throughout today for Roy. Lord knows how he will put his life back together after this ends – if indeed he can. I certainly hope he counter sues should he walk free from this, but knowing Roy albeit from a distance I doubt he would.

    I first heard Roy when my brother used to play his records in the early 70’s and then from the mid 70’s to the current day I’ve seen him play numerous times be it in very small venues, Glastonbury, and University unions, he has never failed to entertain and mesmerize with his music and ramblings on life. I sincerely hope he gets to enjoy many more ‘one of those days in Ireland’ and can summon the creative drive to produce more outstanding music.

  33. Case is closed, cleared of two charges of indecent assault, jury undecided on other five, cps have two weeks to ask for a retrial on the five undecided charges

    Simply must be no evidence either way which is a pity for Roy as mud sticks unfortunately

    From what I have read this has hit Roy really hard I hope he can move on from now and find some peace.

    1. If the cps do not go for a retrial then it demonstrates there is little or no evidence, on the other hand……….

  34. Long-time American fan of Roy here. For me, one of the saddest things about this case is that Mr. Harper can’t win no matter what happens from here on out. Even if the prosecution decides not to retry him on the remaining charges, or if he is acquitted of those offenses, his name and reputation are likely to be forever ruined.

    I can also see the other side of the coin, and believe that accusations of sexual abuse/assault should always be taken seriously and thoroughly investigated, and that those found guilty should be punished harshly. But it bothers me a lot that the old adage of “innocent until proven guilty” no longer seems to apply to people accused of committing sex crimes. The media (and public opinion) no longer seem to give anyone the benefit of the doubt anymore.

    In addition, I find it extremely troubling that much of the British press coverage about Roy’s case has focused on what his accuser claims happened 30 or more years ago, and her apparently hazy memories of that time. If there is any concrete evidence beyond her recollections of events that occurred (or not) back in the 1970s, I have yet to hear or read of it. Mr. Harper has been twisting in the wind, under the cloud of suspicion, for more than a year now. And recently I saw where his defence attorney said he couldn’t take the witness stand to answer questions because he is so stressed and in such ill health that he has the brain of a 90-year-old man. I can’t even imagine the pressure that he and Tracey must be under, but hope they can find some relief soon.

    Thanks for this blog. It’s been very interesting and rewarding to see how many other folks share my concern and sympathy for this man … and for a system of justice we all want to see work for the sake of both innocent defendants and real victims.

    1. All this has come about because cheap politicians have, over the years, tinkered with our legal system to curry favour with the public at the expense of justice. They have allowed insubstantial 30 year old allegations to become criminal charges. The concept of ‘Beyond Reasonable Doubt’ cannot easily be applied if it is implicitly ignored in the first instance. Due to the absence of evidence, the verdict is entirely dependent upon the personalities and prejudices of the jurors and whether or not they understand that it is better that ten guilty men should walk free rather than one innocent man should be convicted. But there can be a retrial. If they don’t get him the first time then maybe they can get him second time around. Serve him right for writing all those anti-establishment songs!

      1. its telling that these allegations surfaced in 2013,as in the period 2011 to 2013 Roys star was rising again after a period of inactivity a sold out 70th bithday concert at the royal festival hall an appearance on test match special at lords as the guest on the regular Saturday lunchtime feature view from the boundary he even played old cricketer live on the show then he was the Friday morning guest on bbc breakfast for about 30 mins then there was the new album his first since 2000 some sold out British shows and then in nov 2013 the charges were brought i genuinely think that the CPS had decided to go for someone from the 60’s a counterculture a figure head someone who has dared to criticise the establishment yet another smoke screen to detract the public’s attention from asking questions about powerful political business royal persons who were/are involved in networks of Paedophile rings like L B

  35. Can anyone update on the current situation involving Roy? It has been some time since Roy was acquitted of two charges and I can find no information concerning the outcome of the remaining charges? Does anyone know if the charges have been dropped and Roy cleared?

      1. Thank you for the update. I personally have felt anxious for Roy and his predicament for some time but I cannot imagine how he must be feeling!! What a nightmare for him and his family.

      2. It’s been an interminably agony – the whole of life on hold, unimaginable stress. The wheels of ‘justice’ turn remarkably slowly. We are dealing with a system that is archaic and only concerned with ‘the law’. Justice is not its remit.
        Hopefully it will resolve itself shortly.

  36. Is there any further news regarding Roy ?
    I was under the impression that the CPS allowed 2 weeks to consider whether a retrial was to be applied for ?
    Thats weeks and weeks ago.
    Any update would be appreciated.

  37. And I’m sure “Forbidden Fruit” (funny how not one person mentions this piece of work by name in all these comments . . . . .) is a purely dispassionate ‘Yeah, just singing about it guv’ piece of imaginative role-playing . . . . . .

    1. Well I don’t suppose that all those songs about murder were based on the songwriters personal experience. Song writing is a creative work of the imagination.
      Thanks for the comment – Opher.

    2. Well before the ongoing unpleasantness began Roy explained that the song referred to a girlfriend from his own school days – the same one mentioned in Little Lady, if I recall correctly.

      I think I have that right, could be wrong…

      1. Yes, you’re right. It was about a childhood romance. That is how Roy described it to me on a number of occasions. Thanks for the comment – Best wishes Opher

  38. So all fiction, early ’70s singer-songwriter lyrics, and so on, are always by definition NOT based on experience ? Every love affair e.g. Joni Mitchell EVER sang about was always “a creative work of the imagination” ? And is “creative . . . imagination” sheer invention, or is it the translation of the personal into the universal ? I think the latter.

    1. No. That’s not what I said. I am sure that a lot of creativity comes out one’s experience. Mine often does. But not all. Some is pure creation or fantasy. I’m sure that Lewis Carroll and countless Sci-fi such as Starwars was not based on personal experience. There are a range of creative muses.
      The mind is fertile and inspirations are many.

  39. I’m not trying to deny the effect that serious sexual assaults can have a devastating effect on people’s lives but we generally all have things in our past that we can point to that we assume are the reasons why we are not whole in this way or have failed in that way. I think the problem with these cases coming around 40 years later is that people can look back at an unfulfilled life and say ‘well it must have been that brief episode with Hoy Rarper (or whoever)’ that has caused me to live a life of woe. It becomes a sort of societal paradigm when there is probably very little in it in most cases. My life hasn’t turned out like i planned and i sometimes look back for reasons but really we are all responsible for our own lives. Life is a bugger for more than we imagine. Roy Harper has undoubtedly done more good than harm in his life and its a shame thats he’s going through this. I understand he is going to retrial. I feel funny about listening to Roy Harper these days not because I think he is morally or even legally guilty of these crimes but because the magic that we create around talented performers is a very fragile concept. Now Roy is that person brought into the mire of what has become a modern day epidemic of looking to the past for solutions. And thats the tragedy.

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