A ‘world-famous’ harpist who has played for the Queen was told by a judge her reputation is ‘in tatters’ as she was jailed for sexually abusing a boy.
Danielle Perrett and her ex-fiance Richard Barton-Wood were each jailed for four years and nine months for the abuse, which happened in the 1980s.
They had both denied all charges but were convicted following a four-week trial at Ipswich Crown Court.
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: ‘Each of you hid a darker side of your character; a characteristic which manifested itself in the early 1980s and resulted in the systematic abuse of a teenage boy.
‘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, 68, had worked as a substitute teacher at his school.
He said Barton-Wood sexually assaulted him on sailing trips and camping trips, and that on separate occasions Perrett, 59, took his virginity and performed sex acts on him.
In a victim personal statement, he said: ‘These abusers took away my innocence, my childhood.’
Both dedendants had claimed the allegations were untrue, the incidents did not happen and their accuser was trying to blackmail them.
Sallie Bennett-Jenkins, mitigating for Perrett, said her client ‘has been the subject of trolling online on Twitter and social media and has been a subject of many threats’.
Stephen Rose, mitigating for Barton-Wood, said he was of previous good character and his family had stood by him.
Perrett, of Bridge Street, Alpheton, Suffolk, was found guilty of six counts of indecent assault.
Barton-Wood, of Church Street, Wymondham, Norfolk, was found guilty of seven counts of indecent assault and of one count of attempted indecent assault.