Dave Holland, the drummer for Judas Priest during the renowned rock band’s height of popularity back in the 1980s, has died at the age of 69 while living in exile in Spain.
“It is with regret that we hear of the passing of Dave Holland,” Judas Priest said in a statement. “Despite his actions since working with the band, his time with us was amongst the most productive and successful in the band’s career and Dave was an integral part of that and for that alone he will be missed.”
Holland opted to live in A Fonsagrada, Spain, after he was convicted of the attempted rape of a 17-year-old boy in 2004, Rolling Stone reported. The victim told his parents about the abuse in a letter, leading to Holland being found guilty of one count of attempted rape and five counts of indecent assault.
“We are as shocked as everyone by this news,” Judas Priest said in a statement at the time. “However, we would like to point out that Scott Travis is Judas Priest’s drummer and has been since 1989. We haven’t hand any contact with Dave Holland at all since we parted company with him over 15 years ago.”
K.K. Downing, a former Judas Priest guitarist, did not mention Holland’s criminal history in a statement remembering the drummer.
“It is with deep regret that I have to accept the sudden and unexpected news that Dave Holland has passed away,” he said. “Dave was a solid friend in life and solid musician both on the stage and in the studio; I will cherish the many gigs we played together and the albums that we made and I will always be grateful to the indelible contribution that Dave gave to Judas Priest.”