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Folk singer faces trial on child sex charges

Veteran folk and rock performer Roy Harper is set to be tried next year over allegations he committed a string of sex offences in the 1970s.

The singer-songwriter, who has performed with Pink Floyd and influenced Led Zeppelin, was not required to appear for a preliminary hearing held at Worcester Crown Court.

Harper, of Rossmore, Co Cork, in the Republic of Ireland, faces nine charges, including two counts of having unlawful sexual intercourse with a girl aged under 13.

The singer also faces three charges of indecent assault and four of gross indecency relating to the same alleged victim.

West Mercia Police announced last month that Harper had been charged with the offences, which are alleged to have occurred in the mid-1970s in the Herefordshire area.

The 72-year-old is on unconditional bail and will next appear at the court on March 24, 2014 for a plea hearing. A trial date has been set for August next year.

The prolific performer has produced more than 30 albums during his career.

Harper had been due to play on a bill alongside the likes of Eric Clapton and Robert Plant at London's Royal Festival Hall tonight, but has now withdrawn from the line-up. He was among the acts who had agreed to appear at a tribute to folk guitarist Bert Jansch, who died two years ago.

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