Roy Harper criticises 'delays' after abuse charges dropped

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image captionRoy Harper said he was "incredibly angry" over the case

Musician Roy Harper has expressed anger at delays in the legal system after being cleared of sexual abuse allegations dating to the 1970s.

In February the folk-rock singer was acquitted of indecently assaulting a girl aged 16 in 1980, but a jury failed to reach verdicts on other counts relating to a second complainant.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has decided to drop the remaining charges.

It said it had decided there was not "a realistic prospect of a conviction".

Mr Harper, 74, of Rossmore, County Cork, Ireland, attended Worcester Crown Court to hear that the CPS had decided to offer no evidence against him.

'Lost livelihood'

Mr Harper, formerly of Marden, Herefordshire, said he was upset at the length of time it had taken to prove his innocence.

He said he had lost his livelihood after being informed of the allegations in February 2013.

Mr Harper said: "The psychological and personal cost to my wife and myself has been enormous, and in addition to that the financial cost is hugely unfair.

"Despite coming out of this without a blemish on my name, I nonetheless cannot recoup my costs, and that's left me incredibly angry.

"I'm now going to restart my working life where I left off nearly three years ago."

Roy Harper's career

  • Harper's first album, The Sophisticated Beggar, was released in 1966
  • He has released 32 albums during a career spanning nearly 50 years
  • Recorded at his height for the EMI imprint Harvest Records
  • Harper was a big fan of Led Zeppelin, and vice versa. Led Zep recorded the tribute Hats Off To (Roy) Harper on the 1970 album Led Zeppelin III
  • He sang lead vocals on the song Have A Cigar from Pink Floyd's 1975 album Wish You Were Here, recorded when when both artists were working at London's Abbey Road studios

Mr Harper said "at the beginning of this process" that he was "innocent of these allegations".

He said: "This case should never have gone as far as this or taken so long to resolve."

The CPS said in a statement: "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."

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