Sealed police records released by the National Archives this week of the infamous Keith Richards 1973 drug bust portray Keith Richards and his then common law wife, actress and model Anita Pallenberg in a less than compelling light than what Mr Richards has always contended (he has alleged in a memoir that he was set up by the police). In all the case saw 25 charges made with Mr Richards escaping all charges except for one and a scant 250 pound fine.
At the time of the trial Mr Richards was brought up for charges on possession of various drugs and paraphenelia (which included grass, cannabis resin, “Chinese” heroin, mandrax tablets, burnt spoons, syringes and pipes ), but what hardly got mentioned was the loaded handgun, rifle and the 110 rounds of ammunition which back then only incurred the lesser charges of misdemeanor. In the end Mr Richards got off rather lightly but had the case been tried today one is disposed to reckon that Mr Richards would have receive an all together different punishment than the one he was given back then.
At the time of his arrest, Mr Richards insisted the contraband must’ve been belonged to that of his tenant, Marshall Chess (the son of the founder of Chess records who at that time were running the Rolling Stone’s record label) even though he was the one found with it in the house which he owned,which he purported to be renting out to Mr Marshall Chess whom at the time was no where in the picture, even though Mr Richards insisted he was just staying overnight as Mr Chess’ guest.
Reports the Guardian:
As Richards and Pallenberg were getting dressed, officers led by Detective Inspector Charles O’Hanlon, found a box full of drugs. The revolver was in a bedside cabinet and the ammunition in a nearby cupboard. In an upstairs bedroom the police also arrested the flamboyant Prince Jean Christien Stanislaus Klossowski, whom they described as “the self-claimed heir apparent to the Polish throne”, but known to Richards and Jagger simply as Stash. More drugs were found in his room.
And then there was the ‘man handling of the evidence….’
“…he did try to get rid of some incriminating spoons which showed burn marks after being used to cook up heroin. O’Hanlon claimed that Richards had gone downstairs and “ordered a manservant” to bring him and Pallenberg some drinks. He then unsuccessfully tried to get the incriminating spoons from the bathroom to use to stir the drinks but was stopped by the police.
In the end it was decided that the drugs found albeit quite the wide variety were in fact quite small to press charges against (one presumed because Mr Richards and his house guests consumed them earlier that evening) and that the fire arms were in poor condition and had not been used.
In the end Mr Richards was afforded a light sentence and the legacy of an amiable out of control rocker with particular peccadilloes that we could all excuse because of the very fact he was a rocker with a kind of heavy handed sex appeal. One can only wonder how this case would play out today but one might look at the charade with respect to Ms Lindsay Lohan and come to the conclusion in the end not much would be done but one heck of a lot of press would come. Press that would then be used at a later date to mint more gold…