Rolling Stones: Mick Jagger and Keith Richards appear at Chichester Court over drugs charges on this day 55 years ago

55 years ago today (May 10) Rolling Stones members Mick Jagger and Keith Richards appeared at Chichester court on drugs charges.

In what was a a highly publicised trial at the time, the two spritely rockers appeared before magistrates after being found with cannabis at guitarist Keith Richard's mansion in West Wittering.

Police had been called to the home following a tip-off on Sunday, February 12, 1964.

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A Chief Inspector Dingley, according to Observer reports from the time, knocked on the door of the mansion and following a wait of two to three minutes a 23-year-old Keith appeared.

"Rolling Stones Mick Jagger (left) and Keith Richards pictured leaving the West Wittering home of Keith Richard to attend court at Chichester." With thanks to West Sussex Records Office

Officers reported that there was a party going on at the property, involving eight men and one woman, Mick Jagger's then girlfriend Marianne Faithfull.

According to reports, Bob Dylan's 'Rainy Day Women #12 & 35' was blaring from speakers as the police arrived.

As well as the cannabis, police found pills in Mick Jagger's jacket containing methylamphetamine hydrochloride, and another set of pills were found on 29-year-old art dealer Robert Fraser.

What ensued was a court case at Chichester Court which ended when the pair appeared on the courtroom steps and were almost instantly set upon by hundreds of adoring fans.

"These were the early-comers who on Wednesday morning waiting outside Chichester Magistrates' Court where two of the Rolling Stones were due to appear." With thanks to West Sussex Records Office.

An excerpt from the Chichester Observer reads: "For a few seconds the two pop stars stood on the steps of the court acknowledging their reception with bows. The the schoolchildren and teenagers who had sacrificed their lunch for a glimpse of the pair closed in upon them.

"Screaming girls surrounded them, tearing wildly at their clothes and hair as they were ushered — with difficulty — to a car waiting to take them to lunch."

The report later adds: "At least two dozen students from Chichester College of Further Education defied a ban by the principal of the college (MR. S. D. Hughes) to attend the court hearing.

Mick and Keith were released on bail to for trial at West Sussex Quarter Sessions on 22 June and both were eventually acquitted.

Many thanks to West Sussex Records Office for their support with research for this article.

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