’FOREST poet’ Dave Harvey, was found not guilty of all nine sexual assault charges, at Bristol Crown Court today.
After eight hours and 49 minutes deliberation the jury of eight women and four men returned their verdict.
Freeminer Charles ‘Dave’ Harvey, 78, of Woodland Rise, Parkend, had denied the eight historic charges and of indecently assaulting a girl under the age of 14 .
He also denied a charge of indecently assaulting another girl under the age of 16.
A further charge against a woman in her 20s was dropped.
Harvey smartly dressed in a light blue shirt and tie and carrying a walking stick, broke down in tears as the result was announced.
During the trial Mr Harvey admitted that he had a number of affairs.
“I was a bit wayward at the time,” he said.
“I suppose my wife turned a blind eye to these affair.”
But when he was pressed further and asked why did he go off with other women he replied: “I can’t remember why.”
He was later asked if he was a ladies’ man and asked if he was he good at getting women into bed? He replied: “I wouldn’t say that.”
At the conclusion of his evidence Mr Harvey looked straight at the jury and said: “I am totally innocent of these allegations. I can assure you that these events never happened.
“I have never touched these women in a sexual manner.”
Mr Harvey became Forest of Dean freeminer in 1968 after working for a period at Bigslade until its closure in 1978.
He also worked at the Northern United Colliery during which time his life was saved by another colliery worker who pulled him out following a rock collapse.
Full story in next week’s The Forester.