FOLK rock singer Roy Harper has said he is looking forward to getting back to work but has been left "incredibly angry" at the cost of defending himself against sex offence charges dating back to his days in Herefordshire more than 40 years ago.

The 73-year-old said the last three years had been a "nightmare" that had cost him his livelihood and his life savings to fight a trial at Worcester Crown Court earlier this year.

He denied sex offences against a girl aged eleven or twelve at the time between 1975 and 1977 when he lived in a 15th century black and white farmhouse near Marden, Herefordshire, a time when he said he was "on top of the world."

The trial concluded in February with two not guilty verdicts but the jury failed to reach a conclusion on five other charges and a retrial had been considered at the highest level, Thomas Schofield, for the crown, told a hearing at the court..

He said there was no longer a realistic prospect of conviction and the decision had been made not to proceed for a number of reasons.

Harper, who now lives in Rossmore, near Clonakilty, Co Cork, Ireland, was excused attendance but the court heard he had been notified too late after flights and accommodation had already been booked.

Harper also said he had wanted to be present in court to hear Judge Richard Rundell record not guilty verdicts on all the remaining charges and give leave to apply for legal and other costs.

"I said at the beginning of this process I was innocent and I have now been acquitted of all the charges that were brought," he said. "The psychological cost to myself and my wife has been enormous and the financial cost is hugely unfair. I lost my livelihood and I spent my savings and more on my defence."

He was first contacted by police in February, 2013, and when told of the allegations, his reponse was "blimey, that's half a lifetime ago."

The legal proceedings have caused him to cancel high profile engagements and though he said he was happy it was now officially over, it had been a "nightmare."

"Despite coming out without a blemish on my name, I can't recoup all my costs and that has made me incredibly angry," he said. "I am now going to start my working life again from where I left off after nearly three years. I would like to thank everyone who has supported me."

The trial was told that in the 1970s, Harper had been "really making waves in the music industry" and regular visitors to his Herefordshire home included Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant and Faces keyboard player Ronnie Lane. He had a recording studio and made an album there but by the early 1980s, a disastrous tour to America had resulted in him losing money, his home, his relationship and nearly his life.