Jail for sex abuser who played harp for Queen

Court: World-fa­mous mu­si­cian’ s ‘dirty se­cret’ over schoolboy Cor­rie drug scene sparks com­plaints

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - NEWS - BY SAM RUS­SELL

A “world-fa­mous” harpist who has per­formed for the Queen and sev­eral prime min­is­ters was told by a judge that her rep­u­ta­tion lay “in tat­ters” as he jailed her for sex­u­ally abus­ing a schoolboy in the 1980s.

Danielle Per­rett, 59, was sen­tenced along­side her ex-fi­ance Richard Bar­tonWood, 68, for sep­a­rately in­de­cently as­sault­ing the boy while he was in his early teens.

They had both de­nied all charges but were con­victed fol­low­ing an ear­lier four-week trial at Ip­swich Crown Court.

Per­rett, of Bridge Street, Alpheton, Suf­folk, was found guilty of six counts of in­de­cent as­sault and sen­tenced to four years and nine months in prison.

Bar­ton-Wood, of Church Street, 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.

Judge Ru­pert Over­bury told the de­fen­dants: “Your rep­u­ta­tions are now in tat­ters and Miss Per­rett’s no­to­ri­ety will be of a very dif­fer­ent na­ture than a world-fa­mous harpist.”

He said both de­fen­dants had been re­garded as “pil­lars” in their com­mu­ni­ties be­fore the jury’s guilty ver­dicts, “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”.

But he told them: “I dare say that each of you has, over the last 30 years, hoped that this dirty se­cret would re­main hid­den.”

Their ac­cuser, now an adult, had told jurors that Bar­ton-Wood had worked as a sub­sti­tute teacher at his school. He said Bar­tonWood sex­u­ally as­saulted him on sail­ing trips and camp­ing trips, and that on sep­a­rate oc­ca­sions Per­rett took his vir­gin­ity and per­formed sex acts on him.

He said: “These abusers took away my in­no­cence, my child­hood.”

Both de­fen­dants had said the al­le­ga­tions were un­true, the in­ci­dents did not hap­pen and that their ac­cuser was try­ing to black­mail them. Broad­cast watch­dog Of­com has re­ceived 82 com­plaints from Corona­tion Street view­ers over a scene in­volv­ing drug use. The scene saw vicar Billy May­hew, played by Daniel Brock­le­bank, tak­ing heroin in a church along­side his brother Lee, played by Richard Cre­han. Af­ter tak­ing the class A drug, Lee tells Billy: “This must be what heaven feels like.”

It aired be­fore the 9pm water­shed dur­ing the sec­ond episode of Mon­day’s dou­ble bill.

FALL FROM GRACE: Danielle Per­rett, 59, had rep­u­ta­tion for ‘kind­ness and in­tegrity’

Richard Bar­ton-Wood

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