Roy Harper is acquitted!! But where is Justice in this? This is not justice! Opher’s views!

roy harper

Roy Harper is acquitted!! But where is Justice in this? This is not justice!

For Roy Harper the nightmare is finally over. He has been formally acquitted. His character is unsullied. All charges have been dropped. The establishment is no longer pursuing him.

Well what can you say?

Has justice been done?

When Roy rang me up two days ago there was a distinct change. It almost sounded like the old Roy once again. Without him having to say I knew that the charges had been dropped. For three years I have listened to a slow befuddled caricature of the man I knew, someone who was crushed under the weight of accusation and fear for a future, a future that even held the possibility of prison. He’d been there as a young man and knew what it was like. He was filled with dread at the thought. He was in his seventies now. The prospect was terrifying.

Anyone who has encountered the justice system in this country knows they are dealing with a lottery. It is not concerned with justice. It is an adversarial system which pedantically picks over the intricate details of laws in search of loop-holes and advantage. It is not concerned with establishing truth; it is merely about winning. It does not always get it right – far from it.

If someone can afford to pay for the best defence they can usually buy a result.

For those, like Roy, whose funds are limited they are left to the vagaries of twelve random characters that form the jury. Twelve people who may not be intelligent, perceptive, able to focus on the facts, or who may not be disposed to even bother trying; who may have pre-formed views and bias and are not prepared to listen, weigh up the evidence and come to a decision based on what they have heard. It is a lottery.

From my own experience as a member of a jury, and those I have talked to who have served on juries, it does not fill me with confidence. Guilty people walk free and innocent people are found guilty. You enter such an arena with trepidation. Your innocence is no cast-iron defence.

One only has to look at the effect on individuals who have been put through this process to see the upshot. The before and after pictures of Freddie Starr demonstrate the terrible toll it takes on people. Operation Yewtree focussed on him and even though he was never charged the pressure nearly destroyed him.

This is not justice.

Dave Lee Travis was hounded with multiple charges. When found innocent he was rearrested on the steps of the court with another set of charges. Eventually, after spending a fortune, having to sell his house and the immense pressure on him, his family and relationships, he was found guilty of one offence of fondling the breast of a female employee of the BBC. I would not condone that action but I hardly think it is worthy of putting any individual through such terror. The way it was carried out smacked of vindictiveness.

This is not justice.

Paul Gabaccini was accused. The police put his name out in the media in the hope of fishing for further complaints. They went round asking people if they had complaints to make against him. Nobody had. His reputation was sullied for nothing.

This is not justice.

It appears that in the wake of Jimmy Saville the police have adopted a different approach. Prior to Saville they ignored complaints and swept them under the carpet. They rightly came in for some heavy criticism. Their response was to go completely in the opposite direction, follow up every complaint, assume guilt, fish for further complaints, and try their hardest to put together a case.

I would suggest that this is as bad as the initial response. They have ended up putting innocent people through a nightmare experience.

This is not justice.

I believe the Crown Prosecution has a lot to answer for. They do not do their job properly and are not fit for purpose. They should review the information and decide whether there is sufficient credible evidence to warrant putting someone through this horrendous experience. They do not. They err on the side of caution. If there is any sexual complaint they almost invariably send it to trial regardless. They are covering their own backs at the expense of justice. They have no compassion for the innocent individuals they are putting through this nightmare.

The pendulum has swung far too much the other way. There seems to now be an assumption that if someone makes an allegation they must be believed, automatically the police view the person accused as guilty and deserving of the pain they are subsequently put through.

This is not justice.

In Roy’s case an allegation was made about an event that was supposed to have taken place forty years ago. There were no witnesses and so where was the evidence? Yet the police fished and found other people. These new accusers were all thrown out by court and jury as being people with grievances who were exploiting the situation or whose allegations were unsubstantiated. Roy was sent to trial and found not guilty on two charges. However the jury failed to agree on others. The nightmare continued.

What prompted those initial allegations?

At the time Roy was undergoing a bit of a renaissance. He was now considered a veteran performer and being lauded, by the likes of Johnny Mar, Fleet Foxes, and Joanna Newsome, as a major singer/songwriter. There were prestigious awards, sell-out concerts at the Royal Festival Hall, television appearance, a Test Match Special featured appearance, radio shows, documentaries and a best-selling highly acclaimed album. It looked as if finally, after all these years, Roy was going to receive the reward he so richly deserved.

Overnight an axe fell and it was all brought to a crashing halt.

It is obvious that Roy’s new high profile elicited the allegation.

What was the motive?

The effect on Roy has been devastating. His career has been effectively brought to a premature end. The awards, follow-up album, further live performances and support all melted away. Nobody would touch him with a barge-pole for fear of being tainted.

For three long years Roy has been subjected to pressures we can only imagine. It has had enormous effects on his health and well-being. It has devastated his wife as well and ruined both their lives. He has spent all his money trying to prove his innocence and suffered the sullying of his reputation. They have hardly dared venture out.

The energies that should have been devoted to his creativity, enjoying his late success and further promoting his career have been directed into trying to fight the case and sustaining his mental health and physical well-being. It took its toll.

The punishment could not have been worse if he had been locked up. He has served three years of hell.

This is not justice.

So now Roy has been acquitted. But he has already been severely punished and has no recourse to justice. He cannot reclaim the money lost. He cannot reclaim the three years spent in terrible stress. He cannot reclaim the music, poems and albums that would have been. He cannot reclaim the awards lost; concerts not played, or get back to the pinnacle he was at when these allegations were made. His accuser has not suffered any similar punishment and Roy has no recourse to sue for false accusation.

Where is the justice?

I stated in a previous post (Roy Harper: Dissident on Trial) that I felt that the establishment was focussing on individuals because of their position in the entertainment industry. Was he targeted because he was a dissident? Did his high profile rebellious character make him a target? Were they trying to shut him up or punish him for his outspoken antiestablishment views and chosen alternative lifestyle?

I am not suggesting for one minute that we should condone paedophiles or take lightly any allegations made against people. I believe they need following up with due diligence, but they need properly investigating before putting people through this kind of ordeal. To simply put it before a jury is not good enough. Real and terrible damage is perpetrated on innocent people.

We should prosecute paedophiles and address wrongs perpetrated on young people. But we must do so while being mindful of the effects of this on people accused as well. Their rights have to be taken into account as well before embarking on this journey with the crushing effects on the accused of being put through this torment.

So what have we learnt from this farce?

    • The main thing is that we have got to get the balance right. It is no good going from an extreme in one direction to an extreme in the other. The rights of both accuser and accused need to be equally respected. The suggestion is that the police have been embarrassed by their initial lack of professionalism and have responded by going over the top.
    • The time scale is far too long. In Roy’s case it was three years of hell. Some have faced even longer and some innocent people have actually spent years on remand in prison. Where is the justice in this? Justice delayed is no justice at all. Innocent until proved guilty? Rubbish!!
    • The police need to investigate properly before dragging people like Roy, Cliff Richard, Paul Gabaccini, Freddie Starr and others through the media ordeal. Mud sticks.
    • Fishing for further complaints is an abuse. Whatever the motive it should not be tolerated. If evidence shows up other potential victims then they should be approached and investigated. Seeking to involve others without any prior evidence should not be permitted.
    • Anonymity for the accused should be in place as well as the accuser.
    • There should be the right of redress for innocent parties to compensate for damage done to careers, losses, reputations and income.
    • There should probably be the right to sue for false allegations.
    • The Crown Prosecution need to do their job properly. If there is not a substantial case they should not let it go to court. They should be big enough to ride the criticism. If there is not sufficient evidence they should not pursue it. An allegation alone is not sufficient.
    • A statute of limitations of a set number of years might need to be considered. Surely trying to prove a case like this forty years later is not possible unless there is compelling evidence?
    • Common sense should prevail.At present anybody who is in a public position, including teachers, nurses, doctors and police, are in danger of malicious allegations. The accusers do not have to have foundation or be upheld. They wreck careers and throw the accused into a nasty void from which they rarely get out of whole.

Opher 19.10.2015

Roy has been acquitted but he has paid a heavy price. Justice went out the window.

81 thoughts on “Roy Harper is acquitted!! But where is Justice in this? This is not justice! Opher’s views!

    1. I think what has happened to Roy is shocking but if I am honest until today I had never heard of him. Often you see on the tv adverts a singer has just released an album and often I have never heard of that person before. I have to admit though that I grew up with the Kinks,Slade and T Rex ect.

      1. Well Paul all I can say is that you’re in for a treat. Roy is britain’s greatest singer songwriter. Just check out stormcock. Best album ever. Cheers opher

      2. Then you have gems like Bullinamingvase and Lifemask to look forward to. It’s not quite endless but there’s a lot! Then you can check out his talented son Nick Harper. He’s great too.

  1. I recall Roy had to pull out of the celebration of the life of Bert Jansch at the Royal Festival Hall shortly after the news broke in 2013. This must have really hurt him not being able to add his voice to his peers in praise of Bert.

    1. Yes. One among many events that he was deprived of. It has been a tragic three years. Now it’s time to move forward! Thanks for commenting – cheers Opher

  2. When an old cricketer leaves the crease
    You never know whether he’s gone
    If sometimes you’re catching a fleeting glimpse
    Of a twelfth man at silly mid-on
    And it could be Geoff, and it could be John
    With a new ball sting in his tale

    And it could be me, and it could be thee

  3. I think you have expressed the views of any level-headed, intelligent person on this matter. The subject of anonymity (for the accused) was being talked about a while ago and, like most important matters, seemed to fritter away to the land of no conclusion but innocent people are still having their lives ruined.

    A very enjoyable read so thank you.

    Hats off to Roy Harper.

  4. What a superb article, and from my own experience as a juror you are spot on. Your comment about the timescale involved is also very pertinent; the CPS are no doubt under pressure through being awash with paedophilia allegations, but three years based on what proved to be a flimsy prosecution case is ludicrous, especially given that when the original trial failed last year the judge gave the CPS three weeks to submit a case for a retrial, yet no further announcements were made until months later. I am sharing this article on my website.

    1. Thank you for your words. I appreciate that. Thanks for taking the trouble to comment and thanks for sharing. Our justice system needs an overhaul! – all the best Opher.

      1. You are welcome. I am a massive Roy Harper fan and have an enormous amount of respect for the man’s work and the insights he has provided to humanity throughout his entire catalogue.

    2. I’m not sure it matters that much, to me or the man himself. Obviously Roy will be seeking to recoup some of his court costs through album sales, and perhaps more gigs and the like, but as far as recognition goes Roy is already held in enormous esteem by those in the know. His music has never been mainstream, thankfully, and therefore it’s unlikely that the herds that follow the latest pop fad fed to them by the System will ever understand, or even feel the need to do so. That is their loss, but the vast majority will probably remain too comfortably numb to care. Roy Harper’s legacy has already been established, and I would hazard a guess that this legacy will survive into future centuries long after many of today’s pop ‘legends’ have been forgotten.

      1. Too true. But I still think there are a wider number of discerning, intelligent individuals who would love his music and poetry and who have not yet had the pleasure.

    3. I don’t doubt that. But it’s out there if they search for it; most enlightenment doesn’t come to you, you have to open your heart and mind to it. All that people like us can do is to spread the word, and those with open minds will hopefully investigate. There are no doubt countless people around the globe who have acquired enormous insight and wisdom and who will remain unsung, never even having the platform that Roy has had, so I guess that in context Roy has had enormous success that he should be proud of.

  5. A very thought provoking piece and I share many of your views. There is one more aspect you don’t mention, which I think creates an opportunity for people to complain and that is the possibility of thousands of pounds in compensation and payments from the gutter press for their “stories”. Remove this and I think any complaints may have more credibility but would still need proper investigation before action is contemplated. Despite being on this planet for over 60 years, I have never been called for jury service in any form whatsoever. Others have been several times – it doesn’t make sense to me unless there’s some other process going on? I had a very uneasy feeling about Roy and the trial in the sense that in some of his lyrics such as those in Hangman he’d almost predicted the event. However, those of CSN&Y in Ohio probably still hold true “If you believe in justice – it’s dying”. I look forward to more of Roy’s music – it’s one of the few things that makes the world seem better than it is.

    1. The compensation situation and the gutter press is certainly a factor to take into account. Thanks for your comments – very pertinent. We need to create a better justice system! Thanks Hugh – best wishes – Opher

  6. I read about the case in the Guardian yesterday. I agree with everything you say.

    I thought the statement by the CPS was extraordinary

    “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.”

    So how did this case ever get this far? Surely it must have been apparent at the stage that police presented their evidence to the CPS?

    And surely, given that there wasn’t a realistic prospect of conviction an apology is owed, alongside compensation? It surely cannot be that people can be ruined on the basis of charges where there is not (and most likely never was) a realistic prospect of conviction?

    … and also “we will be meeting with the complainant”… and what of the accused – the person needlessly persecuted?

    1. Yes. It is extraordinary. It is quite clear that the balance has shifted. Where complaints of this nature were ignored and brushed under the carpet they are now pursued beyond reason. The police and CPS clearly side with the complainant and the accused is considered guilty from the offset and treated abominably. We have to reach a better balance and justice for all parties.

      1. Great article. Simply outrageous that this individual can do this to someone without evidence. In the case where the accused is found not guilty, or charges dropped, the accuser’s name should be made public and open to being sued.

      2. Well Brian – I agree something needs to be done. I blame the CPS and arcaic procedures. I think that anonymity of the accused is probably the biggest necessary change.
        Thanks for commenting.

  7. I am so pleased that Roy’s nightmare has finally ended. I hope that he and his family can move forward, recover, try to put this period of time behind them and reignite his career. He is one of the finest singer songwriters.
    I am also ‘livid’ at the nature of the ‘justice’ system in the UK and its treatment of Roy, and I have no doubt many other people falsely accused of sex crimes. This is a travesty of justice that needs to be seriously addressed at the highest level!
    I am a very small cog in a huge wheel, reliant on the nature of our democratic processes to keep me safe, secure and free to express myself as much as my nature and the law allows, but this ridiculous farce frightens me.
    I hope that no-one will take umbrage or find fault with me, as I intend to contact my Westminster MP to raise this subject with her? It really is the only outlet I feel I have to express my anger and dismay at the nature of our justice system and the treatment meted out to an Innocent man!!


  8. Superb and well written. And please remember those wrongly convicted whose lives are often ruined. This appalling witch hunt goes back much further than Savile. Fifteen years ago I found it incredible. Not only are the innocent frequently convicted but they can be convicted for crimes that never took place. No evidence apart from one person’s word against another. Jonathan King

    1. I hear what you are saying. Thank you for your appreciation. I am afraid that the justice system is not brilliant and itself creates many victims. It is not concerned with truth; it is concerned with law and winning. It really does not care about the people involved or the outcomes. It is about the power of the establishment. It is time it was replaced with something more caring, effective, efficient and improved.

    1. Cheers Lucy – Let’s hope something good comes out of all this. Only by people being prepared to speak up can we go forward! Justice is worth fighting for.

  9. There is no mention above of Rolf Harris, an innocent man found guilty by a jury which included a Metropolitan policeman. Of all the Yewtree set ups this one was a winner and the one that needs to be addressed. You come across as a very ‘Good German’ indeed.

    1. From what I can see there have been a whole string of badly constructed cases in the wake of Saville. It seems to have provoked an hysteria that has produced many injustices. They are making victims out of innocent celebrities. It needs addressing urgently. It is out of proportion and simply wrong.

  10. About bloody time. I was going to say more but… well, you and others have said it all. It’s over, after too many years.

  11. The legal system usually reflects the character of the wider society that surrounds it. One shouldn’t confuse the complex concept of ‘Justice’ with what happens in courtrooms. In a society which is grossly unfair, stewed in hierarchy, vast differences in wealth and power and brazenly class-based; bias in the legal system is the norm and justice, and access to it, something that can be bought and sold.

    If Roy Harper had been found guilty, he would have been open to a further prosecution by the alleged victim demanding substantial compensation from what’s left of his estate. This alone functions as an ‘incentive’ towards remembering alleged actions that took place decades ago. The accused in cases like this risks losing far more than the person who goes to the police their story.

    Just as ‘justice’ and our changing ideas about it don’t exist in a vacuum, neither does the legal system. Times and attitudes change, especially in relation to complex social interactions like sexual activity. Victorian social reformers returned shaken and white-faced from visits to the teaming hovels where the working class were crammed together like animals, and where sex was part of life like breathing and eating and taking a crap!

    In some ways these high-profile historic sex trials are a way of putting an entire culture on trial, what people call the ’60’s’ and people who appear to symbolize that hedonistic era when so much was being questioned.

    The courts and the CPS are influenced by the times and the ‘signals’ being sent out from the ruling elite. The media seem to function as a kind of echo-chamber for the changing attitudes of elite to all manner of things and sex often seems to function as a symbolic battleground for wider changes in society. Simply put, if one can control how people think about sex and how they behave, something so central to how people live their lives, what else can one control, seen from the perspective of the State?

    It’s a shame that Roy Harper’s return and his deserved ‘golden autumn’ was so savagely cut short. Let’s hope he finds the inner will and strength to make more music and fight to regain the respect and legacy he so richly deserves.

    1. You make some great observations. We live in a reactionary world. Fortunately, a significant, albeit relatively small, proportion of today’s youth are being awakened to the machinations of the capitalist and corporate matrix they are encaged within. They are rediscovering some of the insights and energies of the hippies; like the Sixties and Seventies youth they are beginning to question the established order, but armed with the power of the internet ideas and knowledge can now be spread around the planet, even to the darkest depths of Third World hinterlands. Maybe the established hierarchy of corruption and unearned privilege will one day be overturned. Voices like those of Roy Harper, and indeed many of his peers from that era, will no doubt act as inspiration and help to fuel the catalyst.

      1. Thank you. Strange to think that the internet, devised to cope with nuclear war, is a ray of hope for the dissemination of truth.

      2. As long, of course, as we can pick our way through the deliberate disinformation put out there by the cranks and the Establishment shills. Therein lies Catch 22. Everything on the internet needs to be very carefully cross-referenced, because some of the lies are elaborate and expertly woven.

  12. I’m delighted that Roy has been found not guilty and like many other cases, it should have never made it to court. Tragically, in Rolf Harris’s case, he was convicted for something he hasn’t done. I hope Roy manages to move on and continue to make albums and manage to sell them. A law was introduced in 2002, which means that any accusations of sexual offences unlike, other crimes don’t have to investigated. Because of this one can be convicted on the here-say of somebody. The law firm Slater and Gordon who have overseen these cases stand to gain financially and they are not going to care whether the accused is innocent or not. So long as we have a compensation culture, it is inevitable that people are going to cry wolf. Ordinary men are just as susceptible to those unwanted early morning calls as elderly celebrities and rock stars. NO MAN IS SAFE!!!!!!

      1. I agree with most of what you say, Opher. I am very familiar with the absence of justice in the criminal process as you are aware. He has no chance of compensation and any thought of suing for libel must be ruled out. Freddie Starr took that route and it bankrupted him in the end. The evidence is not hearsay evidence. Hearsay evidence is evidence where someone says that X told him that the accused had assaulted Y. Cases such as this usually come down to the jury’s acceptance of the credibility of the accuser and the accused. It’s a far from perfect system. You have to pick up the pieces left in your life and carry on.

      2. Cheers for that Bede. You’re right but you know what I mean. It isn’t hearsay but it might just as well be. It boils down to one person’s word over another and in a system where a person is innocent until proven guilty it rather throws that arse about tit. The accused has to prove his innocence. That seems to undermine the whole premise of the British justice system
        I don’t suppose you’re up for the Magic Band tomorrow in Leeds?

  13. Another ‘injustice’ is that the reporting of Harper’s acquittal hasn’t received anywhere near same coverage that the allegations and charges against him did. This is how our lurid media works. Innocence doesn’t sell as well as guilt.

    I first saw Roy Harper playing in Hyde Park almost half a century ago after hearing him on the John Peel show. I’ve got all his music in multiple formats. I always found him to he one, if not the most, creative, original, provocative and talented songwriters the 60’s produced. In many ways he was, is, a unique talent, way to tough and uncompromising for the charts, both then, and now. Who else had such a grasp of British history, mythology, and landscape and culture, both political and social, and had the ambition and ability to weld this stuff into epic songs that described a people and a country? It’s a tribute to both the times and the man that he was able to transform himself from a working class cast off destined for the gutter or prison, into a towering figure, a bard, who dared to look at a great nation honestly and see it for what it was, the reality behind the veil of conformity and orthodoxy, and then had the gall and courage to sing what he saw there. That rarely happens and it’s a precious thing for a culture. But it comes at a price. Too much visionary honestly in the age of the liars and charlatans is both a blessing and a burden. God, that sounds like he’s dead!

    This case should never have been taken to court in the first place. The hysteria surrounding the Saville scandal led to an atmosphere that resembles a witch-hunt were commonsense was pushed aside and there was pressure and a demand for the authorities to find more witches for the bonfire, even though, when looked at calmly and rationally the evidence was close to non-existent, with no witnesses or a shred of proof that any crime had actually been committed, in many cases decades in the past.

    A problem I have with historic sex crimes is that surely there needs to be some shred of contemporary evidence from the time the alleged crime too place indicating that the victim’s story is true? Like the victim complained to her friends, family, school teacher, the police, wrote something on paper in a diary, something, some scrap of evidence that at the time the offense was supposed to have taken place the victim acted appropriately as if a sex crime had indeed happened. There has to be something to link the allegations being made now, often decades later, with the past. To charge someone with a serious crime based on what amounts to a story without evidence or witnesses to the alleged actions and events seems a dubious way to serve justice.

    1. I agree with everything you’ve said. It should not have gone to court. Where can evidence come from? Without compelling evidence there is no justification for putting someone through this. It is extremely worrying for everyone that a case should be brought like this. But it has happened a lot. People have been convicted on little other than hearsay. I think that unless there is compelling evidence or a series of complainants whose stories collaborate what has happened then it is unsafe to proceed. The affect on the accused is enormous. They become victims. Thanks for contributing! Much appreciated.

  14. I’ve been thinking about this affair a lot, and thinking that it could have just as easily have been me in the courtroom answering similar charges, if I’d become really famous instead of choosing the opposite path, one of carefully cultivated anonymity. Thank God I did! It’s interesting that these historic sex crime cases seem to exclusively involve celebrities, why is that? How many cases involving ordinary people have there been in relation to crimes allegedly committed decades ago? Shouldn’t there be as many cases involving people who aren’t famous? Or are we to believe that only celebrities are guilty of abusing women sexually? Are these high-profile cases real, or not? Or are we retrospectively judging people with today’s values in relation to actions that weren’t considered criminal thirty or forty years ago? Of course a violent sexual attack on a woman is criminal, or on a child, and was illegal then as it is now, but stretching the definition of a punishable sex crime using today’s attitudes and standards, to criminalize behavior that took place decades ago, is problematic and dangerous. And whatever happened to one of the cornerstones of our legal system, the presumption of innocence until prove guilty? These sex crime allegations and charges seem to undermine the presumption of innocence and even reverse it, so it’s the accused who needs to prove that he isn’t guilty. The reason the presumption of innocence is important is because the individual accused of a crime by the State needs protecting because of the built in disadvantage he’s at in relation to the State. The State has, in practice, unlimited resources at its disposal, whereas the accused has limited resources; so even here the state has an advantage, but if we are going to move towards a system where there are ‘special charges’ that mean the accused is already ‘half guilty’ then we are on a slippery slope towards a very different system of justice which puts the individual at a tremendous disadvantage in relation to the power of the State.

    1. That is a very perceptive and interesting set of comments. Thanks for responding. I think this is a very slippery slope indeed. Innocent until proven guilty is not even paid lip service to. This is the State already deciding the guilt of the accused and using everything in their power to achieve a guilty verdict.

      1. PS. Your points about the Tarbuck case are also very interesting and certainly seem to offer convincing proof that a significant number of the women making these claims are trying to ride the gravy train; but of course, every claim needs to be assessed objectively, for there is little doubt that some are genuine.

    2. Sadly – as you’d probably expect – the ‘show trials’ being trumpeted loudly by the media to create this crazy new ‘normality’ reflect a depressing state of affairs for ‘ordinary people’ which has existed since the 1990’s, but has grown sharp new teeth since the (completely contrived & manufactured) ‘Savile Scandal’ in late 2012 (and none of the many allegations against him stand up either, not one! it is all propaganda). UK prisons are full of ‘unknowns’ and we have a disturbing appetite for sending the elderly to prison on unprovable allegations relating to 30/40/50 years ago – retired teachers, to give one example, are a sitting target.
      A curious coincidence is that Slater & Gordon – an Australian personal injury law firm listed on the stock exchange (and ergo making its shareholders rich) – were allowed to enter the UK legal market in 2011/2012 after ‘vicarious liability’ was granted for no-evidence historic cases (meaning authorities were liable even when no evidence was presented) and have since acquired numerous large UK firms, operating their own PR teams and – as it happens – a ‘specialist abuse team’, who are never far away from current affairs radio & TV.
      They take on clients (accusers) on No Win No Fee ‘agreements’, and the hapless liars/fantasists/loonies end up for a small amount whilst they swell their corporate coffers with millions – millions plundered from public-funded organisations such as the BBC, the NHS and local authorities when they surrender to ‘vicarious liability’. Yet STILL people think these shysters are “helping victims”!!

      1. Whilst I think that your implication that Savile is innocent of all charges is fantastical to the extreme in the light of all the evidence, the rest of your comments relating to Slater & Gordon are very interesting and worthy of further investigation. The capitalist-ridden corporate world is corrupt to the core, beyond doubt, and money speaks far louder than conscience.

      2. I cannot wholly agree with your claims. I believe that the police handled claims of sexual abuse very badly and never followed up. I do believe that there was sufficient evidence on Saville. What followed is a hysterical response that has swept up numerous innocent people. The ‘Americanisation’ of the ‘No Win No Fee’ business has opened up a plethora of cases. We can do without it. It’s driven by greed.

      3. Re: Jimmy Savile. Not spurious claims on my part.
        The extensive research of the neutral research blogs and have, to date, found nothing ‘solid’ at all. Which isn’t them declaring JS ‘innocent’ – but certainly ‘not guilty’ so far. All the various NHS reports, Police reports etc etc have simply been catalogues of somewhat unlikely allegations with no attempt made to prove or investigate -none whatsoever. As he is continuously cited as ‘the reason for all this’, it’s not rocket science to understand why – but try speaking out about these facts anywhere – be it on social media or in ‘the media’ – and you’ll see the somewhat Orwellian true ‘establishment’ show itself. Believe in the ‘bogeyman’ and – in terms of logic – this is what then leads directly to the harpooning Rolf Harris, Dave Lee Travis, Paul Gambaccini and Roy Harper (not to mention the many ‘potless’ ordinary folk being falsely accused). Here is not the platform for any disection of ‘the big fish’ though as it will distract from the subject of this article – I simply invite anyone interested to do research of the above blogsites with an open mind and draw their own conclusions.

        re: Slater & Gordon – I would be interested to know if they were ‘representing’ any of the claims against Roy. They were certainly in the driving seat with the claims made against DLT, Rolf Harris and the strange allegations made against Jimmy Tarbuck. One women accused Tarby of molesting her when he appeared on Top Of The Pops at BBC Television Centre in London in 1963 – another 7 women, all apparently independently, came forward to claim the same. As it happens, Jimmy Tarbuck never appeared on Top Of The Pops, which didn’t begin until New Year 1964 and was filmed in Manchester until late 65 (Television Centre wasn’t the show’s base until BBC1 went colour in November 69!) How would 8 ‘independent’ women get something so serious so wrong? And WHY did the imagine this happened at the BBC, at Television Centre, at Top Of The Pops?
        Also of note – the multi-mililionaire CEO of Slater & Gordon made some videos for their shareholders about entering the UK market. The language used is very interesting indeed (and one has disappeared completely in recent weeks)

      4. Chris, whilst I’m still extremely cynical about any suggestions that Savile is innocent I will indeed take a closer look at those websites you have referenced. At this juncture though, I have to doubt the very motivation for setting them up. You describe them as ‘neutral’, but why did they look into the Savile case in the first place? Personally, I suspect that they had a motivation, for one reason or another, and that this motivation is likely to have been to disprove the charges. I also wonder, if you doubt all the claims being levelled against Savile, whether you believe that all the paedophilia cases that are being / have been brought to the Courts are unjustified?

        I’ve looked into quite a lot of conspiracy theory so I am aware that the ruling elite deploy a lot of underhanded tactics, and suspect that public knowledge only scratches the surface of what actually goes on. Greg Palast’s The Best Democracy Money Can Buy is recommended reading, originating from an established investigative reporter. Therefore, I wouldn’t be surprised if at least some of the paedophilia cases coming to light are driven by covert motives; however, I also have to say that a lot of the conspiracy theory out there is very flimsy and that even big names like Coleman and Spivey are pretty suspect to me, in particular the latter whose assertions generally don’t hold water at all (visit his website and take a look – his claims regarding the murder of Lee Rigby, an event that I followed as it unfolded, were imo highly imaginative, and he is even claiming that the recent downing of the Russian passenger jet is ‘false flag’ despite the fact that even he can’t come up with any motive: the guy has obviously laboured many hours to prove his point despite the fact that most of his analysis is, imo, drivel). In the context of the above remarks, and because additionally I have a deep loathing and mistrust of the capitalist and corporate machines, I would nevertheless accept that Slater & Gordon are possibly part of a greater web of intrigue and deception, and I will certainly be taking a closer look as time allows.

      5. The Anna Raccoon site was already long established in 2012, and specializes in questioning mainstream media & journalism – that she also attended the same school used in the initial Savile ‘Exposure’ meant she was obviously qualified on that angle, and given the whirlwind since then was dragged into it rather than stay silent on things she knew not to be right. “Savile” has been an unwelcome distraction for her in many respects and is not the sole focus of her site but when you take the media to task these things cannot be ignored.
        The other site is merely doing what the media and police should be doing – examining things in detail. That you feel that doing that is so questionable is clearly a good reason for it happening, everything we are told (especially by mainstream media) should be questioned and examined.

        There is no doubt paedophilia exists – but in my opinion it is being used as a distraction by the current ‘elite’ (which is ‘the mainstream media’, all ‘owned’ by global big business). For instance, there is no doubt in my mind that the results of various questionable happenings over the past 20 years have been a great aid to the current dumbing down en masse – Dunblane ensured schools became like prison sites and children (in a way) quarantined from adults; Diana’s death had President Blair orchestrating mass hysteria alien to most of us, 9/11 (and those dubious controlled demolition) removed banking privacy once & for all etc… “Savile” has turned ‘conspiracy theorists” in on themselves – at the same we have talk of “the elite” and “the establishment” the people who are supposedly warriors of freedom are now applauding arrest/charge/conviction without evidence and the very real Police State. This isn’t ‘exposure’, it’s throwing a few corpses to the wolves, and the result is your ruling elite have, via misinformation, hysteria and mass use of the internet/smartphones etc, ensured people can be controlled in thought, word and deed all the time (plus feeding an arrogance in the young that somehow the generations that survived World War II, produced the likes of John Lennon, David Frost, Monty Python etc etc were entirely in thralll to a short-arsed yodelling DJ from Leeds, so aren’t worth a light)

      6. It’s going to take an enormous amount of proof to convince me that the Savile case is one enormous hoax, Chris. The biggest problem I have is that it’s come to a point where some people are claiming that every single incident is false flag conspiracy (even global warming), regardless of the evidence. There are various angles out there on Savile, and sites such as the Coleman Blog (this links to one of several articles on Savile on that site: ) assert that Savile was very much a part of the very elite you are accusing of manipulating public opinion. However, I’ll definitely look at the information regarding Savile with an open mind in the light of what you’ve said, and of course the Coleman Blog, as I’ve previously alluded to, is not in itself totally convincing and may itself be a vehicle of the elite.

        Overall, though, I share your views regarding the ruling elite. My activist FB page and the website I’m building at are dedicated to referencing and debating issues such as this and trying to sift the truth from the disinformation, and I would be happy to publish some of your thoughts there. There is no doubt that there are many unanswered questions regarding 9/11. This is the big one, imo: if it could be conclusively proven that this was all planned in advance by the West itself (US/Mossad in particular, with the possible complicity of the UK) it could bring the whole house of cards tumbling down and seriously weaken the hierarchical structure that has controlled the masses for a millennium or more (certainly in the UK, since the Norman Conquest). 9/11 is probably the ultimate rabbit hole, but it’s also a great example of how fantasy and delusion (some of it perhaps deliberately planted by government agencies) can distract from the truth, and claims such as the people that jumped from the twin towers were CGI generated simply muddy the waters and discredit the truther movement as a whole.

  15. Speaking as an American who has watched Roy’s case closely and read everything I could find about it, I too am overjoyed that the Crown prosecutors have finally dropped these absurd charges, but am also puzzled as to how the whole thing ever got so far out of hand. As others have noted, it’s like there was a kind of witchcraft hysteria of the sort that Arthur Miller wrote about in “The Crucible” so many years ago — only this time involving allegations of sexual abuse instead.

    Although I am not so sure there was an actual conspiracy to persecute Roy with these false accusations because he has spoken out against the authorities’ abuse of power, I have no doubt that politics played a part in his mistreatment by the English legal system. It seems clear that some very high-level senior officials wanted to overcompensate for the fact that, in the wake of the Saville (sp?) scandal, they utterly failed to properly investigate earlier, credible accusations of sexual abuse by other celebrities.

    And they’re still trying to deny the truth of Roy’s innocence. What else can one make of the ridiculous statement that, “it was decided that based on the strength of the evidence there is no longer a realistic prospect of a conviction”? I mean, “on the strength” of what evidence? It sounds to me like the prosecution didn’t ever really have anything.

    On this side of the ocean we hear a lot of people telling us to “Believe the victim” when it comes to cases of alleged rape and sexual abuse. Unfortunately, all too often, the folks saying that really just want us to substitute our critical thinking skills for raw emotion and do away with due process altogether. By all means, let’s thoroughly investigate such complaints. But let’s not jump to conclusions or rush to judgment before all of the facts are in either.

    I only hope that Roy can put his life back together, regain his good name and reputation, and show us all that his final act will be his best. My apologies for the length of this post but I sincerely believe that “justice delayed is justice denied,” and Roy has received too little of both.

    1. Thank you for your input and welcome to Opher’s World blog. It is nice to get an American perspective. We too are bemused. The law for this type of historical sex case seems different. It appears that the accuser is believed and the accused has to prove their innocence. This is contrary to ‘Innocent until proven guilty’ on which British law is based. I agree with the points you make. As the CPS had no new evidence when they made their decision it is bewildering as to why it wasn’t thrown out at the beginning.

    2. Good comment. I agree with you, Opher, & others who have expressed similar views that the introduction of the contingency fee case (“no win,no fee” was a mistake. It created an avalanche of fake civil claims. Lawyers are competing for work now in the UK because there is a surfeit of them so these types of claims are “easy” money because the insurance firms and other large companies usually settle out of court rather than fight because they concentrate on the bottom line, ie. it’s cheaper to settle than fight a court case. All the insurance companies do is raise the premiums to cover their losses. They have us by the balls because motor insurance is compulsory by law. I’ve successfully defeated two of these claims for people. I’m still investigating one where an invoice inc. VAT formed part of a claim submitted by the firm of solicitors. The invoice was from a company which has never traded. That fact was never disclosed to the court. The “celebrity cases” are just the tip of an iceberg. We don’t hear about the rest because the defendants are not famous. Sorry Opher, I wouldn’t have made the gig in Leeds. I’m sure you enjoyed it. I dropped on 2 John Mayall albums cheap in Hebden Bridge 2nd hand market today. Both look unplayed. Did I tell you I saw his gig in Halifax? I think he’s 81 now but he looks the same except his hair is grey. Was an outstanding gig.

      1. Cheers Bede. Magic Band were brilliant as usual. You would have loved it. Sorry you weren’t there. Next time. What were the Mayall albums? I didn’t know he was playing Halifax. I caught him in Hull a few years back with Mick Taylor – excellent!

      1. I’d like to think so as things cannot continue in this vein – but it’s going have to come like a bolt out of the blue. Problem is power & money corrupt absolutely, and that really is what all this boils down to. The poison is set in concrete in education, and that needs to change fast – but will it?

        I think it’s going to be a rocky ride, for sure. People need to speak out and to try and show the younger generations there is a better way, mentor them properly instead of the tail wagging the dog as it is presently. People are losing their grounding fast – I feel like by maintaining my ‘normality’ free of bad media influence, by not changing from who I really am, I am becoming an ‘outsider’ in the same way Bohemians were – which is utterly bonkers in the clear light of day.

      2. I put a lot of faith in good education. When it is done well it produces enquiring minds who challenge, creativity and lateral thinking. Education is dangerous which is why they want to shackle it to tick-lists and prescribed careers. But everything goes in cycles. Kids are vibrant and have lively minds.

      3. Now I have to say that here I am in total agreement with you Chris. Money and power corrupt absolutely, indeed; but how will we ever convince the masses when the 2008 banking crisis and its aftermath failed to? They are brainwashed by the System, and being brainwashed it’s not going to be easy to get through to them. Much of the damage is done, as you imply, at an early age by selective education teaching skewed histories and research, and the corporate media and advertising machines do much of the rest. The elite have got the masses exactly where they want them, as insatiable lapdogs. I take hope in the fact that some within the younger generations are beginning to awaken, as can be seen from from the innumerable activist sites on the internet. It’s still a pretty small minority but I like to believe that the momentum is growing and that everyone in the know, including Roy Harper, have a role to play in fueling the change.

      4. There are lots of young people with lively minds. That’s where I put my hope. Idealism is not dead. I want to build a better zeitgeist!

    1. Hi Dave,
      Yes it seemed to hit a spark. It is great that blogging gives a voice to people. This one and the earlier one I did on Roy (Dissident on trial) seem to resonate with everyone. There is a lot of anger about what is going on and the way it is being conducted.
      Thanks again for all your support. Keep on blogging!

  16. I have just come across your blog and I absolutely loved reading your views on RH trial and acquittance. You put into words what I feel a lot of us RH fans think. This is a sad, sad story and Roy didn’t deserve this. I’d like to think that he will somehow recover from the damage done.

    Looking forward to read more stuff from this blog. Thanks.

    1. Thank you for your kind words. I am glad you like my writing. Hopefully Roy will bounce back. He seems in good heart.
      I look forward to hearing from you again – all the best – Opher

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