Harpist who performed for the Queen jailed for sexually abusing boy | UK news


A renowned harpist who has performed for the Queen and several prime ministers has been jailed for sexually abusing a schoolboy in the 1980s. Danielle Perrett was sentenced alongside her former fiance Richard Barton-Wood. They were found guilty of indecently assaulting the boy in separate incidents while he was in his early teens.

Both Perrett, 59, and Barton-Wood, 68, had denied all charges, but they were convicted following a four-week trial at Ipswich crown court. Perrett, of Alpheton, Suffolk, was found guilty of six counts of indecent assault and sentenced to four years and nine months in prison. Barton-Wood, of Wymondham, Norfolk, was found guilty of seven counts of indecent assault and of one count of attempted indecent assault. He was also sentenced to four years and nine months.

Richard Barton-Wood outside Ipswich crown court

Richard Barton-Wood outside Ipswich crown court on Tuesday. Photograph: Joe Giddens/PA

The judge, Rupert Overbury, told the defendants they had been regarded as “pillars” in their communities, “one of you a teacher and dedicated employee of the museums service who gave time to his community; the other a world-famous harpist with a reputation for kindness and integrity”.

He continued: “Both of you had a darker side of your character. A side that manifested itself in the systematic abuse of a teenage boy.”

The victim had told jurors that Barton-Wood worked as a substitute teacher at his school. He said Barton-Wood sexually assaulted him on sailing and camping trips, and that on separate occasions Perrett had taken his virginity and performed sexual acts on him.

Perrett and Barton-Wood had claimed the incidents did not happen and that their accuser was trying to blackmail them.

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