Roy Harper's story

Folk-rock musician Roy Harper was acquitted of historic sexual offence charges in November 2015, however he states that "This case should never have gone as far as this or taken so long to resolve."  Roy Harper was informed of the allegations in February 2013.  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) have now decided to drop the remaining charges. It said it had decided there was not "a realistic prospect of a conviction". 


Summary of the injustice of system by Opher's World 09/11/2015


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 a lesser defence and 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...


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