Folk rock musician Roy Harper sex abuse trial begins

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Roy HarperImage source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Roy Harper denies 10 sex offences

A folk rock musician has gone on trial accused of sex offences against a girl aged 11.

Roy Harper, 73, abused the youngster in the mid-1970s and indecently assaulted a girl aged 16 in 1980, it was claimed at Worcester Crown Court.

The younger girl had since "struggled" with alcohol and had twice attempted suicide, the court heard.

Mr Harper, of Rossmore, near Clonakilty, County Cork, Ireland, denies 10 charges.

The singer-songwriter denies four counts of indecent assault, four of indecency with a child and two of having sexual intercourse with an under-age girl.

Prosecutors allege Mr Harper committed nine offences against the younger complainant in the mid-1970s and one offence against the older girl at an address in Hereford in 1980.

Opening the case against him, prosecutor Anthony Potter said several offences against the younger girl were alleged to have occurred at the singer's then home near Marden, Herefordshire.

'I felt special'

Explaining how the girl, now in her late 40s, recalled Mr Harper having famous guests, Mr Potter told jurors: "He is a man of some undoubted musical ability and it is a matter of fact that he enjoyed a degree of fame in the 1970s.

"The allegations cover a time period which, to use his description to the police, was when he was on top of the world and really making waves in the music industry, to a period when he was struggling with financial difficulties."

In a video interview conducted in 2012 which was played to the jury, the younger girl told police she had regarded Mr Harper's home as an "exciting" place.

She said: "There were lots of famous people there; it was a nice place to be.

"I couldn't wait to go round there. I felt special."

The trial, which is expected to last for about two weeks, was adjourned until Wednesday.

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