Redlands bust 1967
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On Feb. 12, 1967, at 7:55 p.m.., Sussex police, headed by Chief Inspector Dineley, knocked at the door of Keith’s country home, disrupting a small party he was having, producing a search warrant, claiming that drugs were being used on the premises. The police ransacked the house in search of the drugs, discovering four pep pills in a green velvet jacket that Mick claimed was his (which was in fact Marianne Faithfull’s), a naked woman, “Miss X.” (wrapped only in a fur rug, actually also Marianne) and heroin tablets possessed by Robert Fraser. Mick, Keith, and Fraser were arrested, though a “Mr. X.“, also in possession of drugs, was not.
On May 10, 1967, at Chichester Magistrates Court, Mick, Keith, and Fraser were allowed bail of £100 each. “Mr. X.” had fled the country. (Ironically, on the day of the hearing, Brian was busted in his home for possession of cocaine, Methedrine, and cannabis. From June 27 to 29, Mick, Keith, and Fraser were on trial at West Sussex Quarter Sessions, with Judge Leslie Block presiding. Mick had to spend the night of his trial, before sentencing, at Lewes Prison.
After Keith’s case was heard, it took the jury little more than five minutes to reach their verdict. Judge Block, who felt that Keith and Mick were “scum and filth,” sentenced them. Mick was found guilty of illegal possession of pep pills, fined £100, and sentenced to three months in jail. Keith was found guilty of allowing people to smoke hashish in his home, fined £500, and sentenced to one year in jail. Robert Fraser was found guilty of possession of heroin, fined £200, and sentenced to six months in jail.
Keith was sent to Wormwood Scrubs for the night, and Mick and Fraser went to Brixton Jail. The next day, on June 30, witnessed a strong public outcry, an editorial in the London Times, the Who releasing two Stones songs to keep their name in the public eye, and protests outside the courthouse. Public opinion truly rallied around the Stones, with all concurring that the government wanted to make examples out of the Stones by giving them such strict sentencing on flimsy charges.
A doctor testified that he gave Mick a prescription for the pills, which Mick had purchased legally in Italy. Another fact brought out at the trial by Keith was that the Stones felt they had been set up by The News of the World, in retaliation for Mick’s threatening to sue the paper for libel in response to their article stating that he took drugs. “The vanishing ‘Mr. X.” had supposedly tipped off the paper, who in turn called the police when they heard drugs were being taken at Keith’s party.
Keith and Mick were released on bail of £7,000 each at the High Court. A month later, on July 31,1967, Lord Parker, the Lord Chief Justice at London Appeal Court, dismissed the charges against Keith, giving Mick a conditional discharge. Only Robert Fraser went to jail. On August 18, the Stones released “We Love You” to thank the public for their support.
(Ref. redlands bust)
(Ref. redlands bust)
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