News Segment


January 23, 2004

LONDON – The former drummer for heavy metal band Judas Priest was convicted Friday of attempting to rape a teenager whom he was giving drum lessons.

David Holland had denied assaulting the 17-year-old, who has learning difficulties, at the drummer’s rural English home in 2002. The youth cannot be named for legal reasons.

A jury at Northampton Crown Court found Holland guilty of one charge of attempted rape and five counts of indecent assault. A co-accused, 22-year-old Spiros Laouitaris, was cleared of four counts of indecent assault.

Holland, 55, wept in the dock as the verdicts were read out.

Judge Charles Wide asked for a pre-sentence report on the risk the former rocker posed to adolescent boys.

Prosecutors said the teenager, who had sometimes stayed overnight at Holland’s house while taking lessons, wrote a letter to his parents in December 2002 describing the abuse.

“It revealed that things were happening at his drum teacher’s house that shouldn’t have been happening,” said prosecution lawyer Maria Savvides.

Holland joined the hard-rocking British band in 1979 and stayed for a decade, through its most successful period. Judas Priest churned out a string of heavy-metal classics, including “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming,” “Living After Midnight” and “Hell Bent for Leather.”

Holland left the group in 1989. Leather-clad singer Rob Halford departed for a solo career in 1993 but announced last July that he was returning for a world tour and a new album.

Courtesy of Associated Press