Jail for sex abuser who played harp for Queen
Court: World-famous musician’ s ‘dirty secret’ over schoolboy Corrie drug scene sparks complaints
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’