Sex abuse allegations for Alpheton harpist

Ipswich Crown Court
Ipswich Crown Court

One of the world’s most renowned harpists, who has played privately for the Royal family, has appeared in court accused of sexually abusing a teenage boy.

Danielle Perrett, 58, of Alpheton, is accused of seven indecent assaults which date back to the 1980s.

She is charged with church warden Richard Barton-Wood who she is understood to have been in a relationship with at the time of the alleged offences.

Barton-Wood, 68, of Wymondham, has pleaded not guilty to five counts of indecent assault on a teenage boy, two charges of attempting to commit serious sexual offences and a further charge of attempting to indecently assault a teenager.

The pair appeared at Ipswich Crown Court yesterday when Perrett’s plea hearing was delayed until a later date due to a procedural issue.

A trial of issue – aimed at resolving issues between the prosecution and defence which have been identified before the hearing – was set for Perrett for December 15 and discussions took place relating to a timetable running up to a trial before jury.

At the end of the hearing Judge John Devaux said: “Your trial is fixed for January 2 next year. In the meantime you will have bail on the same basis as you have now.”

Both Perrett and Barton-Wood were released on conditional bail.

Perrett has performed at some of the highest profile events and before many VIPs. According to biographies she has played for the Royal family on many occasions, including special birthdays, and has performed for four consecutive prime ministers.