Roy Harper to stand trial on child sex charges in August 2014

The 72-year-old performer is on unconditional bail

Folk singer Roy Harper is to stand trial next year over allegations he committed a string of sex offences in the Hertfordshire area in the mid 1970s.

The 72-year-old performer of Rossmore, near Clonakilty, Co Cork, in the Republic of Ireland, faces nine charges, including two counts of unlawful sexual intercourse with a girl aged under 13. There are also three charges of indecent assault and four of gross indecency against the same alleged victim.

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

Harper’s scheduled appearance alongside Eric Clapton and Robert Plant at London’s Royal Festival Hall tonight (December 3) has been cancelled. He was to be among the acts paying tribute to folk guitarist Bert Jansch, who died two years ago.

Harper was charged and appeared before Hereford Magistrates’ Court on November 18. Having been interviewed by police at Heathrow Airport in February of this year, the summons came to the English musician – who lives in Rossmore in County Cork, Ireland – in October.

A hugely influential musician, Harper provided lead vocals on Pink Floyd’s 1975 track ‘Have a Cigar’, while Led Zeppelin named their 1970 track ‘Hats Off to (Roy) Harper’ in his honour. He released his 22nd album, ‘Man and Myth’, in September of this year, five decades after his debut release, 1966’s ‘Sophisticated Beggar’. He has toured with Joanna Newsom and earlier this year received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. His fifth album, 1971’s ‘Stormcock’, was recently named the 377th Greatest Album of All Time by NME.