FOLK singer Roy Harper told police allegations of him sexually abusing a young girl when he lived in Herefordshire in the 1970s were "complete rubbish," a jury has been told.

Harper was met at Heathrow airport by police from Hereford on arrival from his home in Ireland for an arranged voluntary interview, Worcester Crown Court heard.

The 73-year-old was told a complaint had been made against him dating back to the mid 1970s when he lived at The Vauld farm in Marden, Herefordshire. His response was "blimey, that's half a lifetime ago" Anthony Potter, prosecuting, told a jury as he read the initial interview transcript. He said the allegations were "ridiculous."

Harper also told police that when he first arrived in Herefordshire he was "on top of the world and really making waves in the music industry."

But by the time he left in the early 1980s, he was "in deep water." He told police he went on an American tour and was "ripped off" by managers and agents which cost him his relationship, his family, his house and very nearly his life.

Harper was said at the time to have caught an illness from caring for one of his sheep but actually had a rare congenital blood disorder, Adrian Waterman, QC, defending, said. The disorder has affected parts of his brain's capacity to understand and process information.

Harper denies three charges of indecent assault, two of unlawful sexual intercourse with a girl under 13 and four of indecency with a child from August 31, 1975 to January 1, 1977, all involving the same girl who was then aged 11or 12. He also denies a further charge of indecent assault on a 16-year-old girl at a house in Hereford between May 23, 1980, and January 1, 1981. He claims the incidents never happened.

He was first interviewed in February, 2013, after police traced him to his home at Rossmore, Clonakilty, Co Cork, Republic of Ireland, the court heard. He said he was recording a new album and they arranged to meet him when he flew to London to record the strings.

The trial continues.