Folk singer Roy Harper will face trial on 12 charges of sexual offences against young girls at a date to be fixed in the autumn.

The 72-year-old sat in the dock at Worcester Crown Court today as his barrister Adrian Waterman QC argued that a three-charge indictment should be dismissed.

But Judge Toby Hooper QC, who had earlier imposed reporting restrictions, decided in favour of prosecutor Harpreet Sandhu to join the indictment with one containing nine charges.

Harper, now living in Rossmore, near Clonakilty, Co Cork, Republic of Ireland, is accused of offences of rape, indecent assault, indecency with a child and sexual intercourse with a girl under 13.

He was given unconditional bail.