Suffolk

Harpist Danielle Perrett found guilty of sexually abusing boy

Danielle Perrett and Richard Barton-Wood Image copyright PA
Image caption Richard Barton-Wood and harpist Danielle Perrett had denied a string of charges

A well-known harpist and her ex-partner have been found guilty of sexually abusing a schoolboy in the 1980s.

Danielle Perrett - who has performed for The Queen - took the boy's virginity and performed sex acts on him, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

She was found guilty of six counts of indecent assault.

Her ex-fiance Richard Barton-Wood was found guilty of seven counts of indecent assault and one count of attempted indecent assault.

The court heard Perrett, 59, of Alpheton in Suffolk, had assaulted the teenager on multiple occasions.

Barton-Wood 68, of Wymondham in Norfolk, was a substitute teacher at the boy's school, and sexually assaulted him on sailing trips and camping trips.

Image caption Danielle Perrett and Richard Barton-Wood are set to be sentenced from 26 February

During the four-week trial, the court heard Perrett stripped naked and got into bed with the boy, where she had sex with him.

Barton-Wood joined them in bed and also indecently assaulted the victim, jurors were told.

William Carter QC, prosecuting, said the boy "was obviously too young to consent".

Both defendants denied the charges and said their accuser was trying to blackmail them.

Perrett also told the trial that the boy had sexually assaulted her in the shower.

Both defendants, who will have to register as sex offenders, will be sentenced in the week beginning 26 February.

Judge Rupert Overbury directed the jury to find Perrett not guilty on two counts of indecent assault and Barton-Wood not guilty of attempting to commit a serious sexual offence.

Describing the offences as "serious", the judge said Perrett and Barton-Wood will face custodial sentences.

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