Harpist denies sexually abusing schoolboy

A world-renowned female harpist has denied sexually abusing a schoolboy and told a trial that the boy sexually assaulted her while she was in the shower.

Danielle Perrett, 59, is on trial alongside her ex-fiance Richard Barton-Wood, 68, accused of sexually abusing a boy in his early teens in the 1980s.

The schoolboy, now an adult, claims Perrett took his virginity and performed a sex act on him in the shower the following morning, and that Barton-Wood indecently assaulted him on sailing trips and camping trips.

They both deny all charges.

Perrett, giving her evidence at Ipswich Crown Court, said Barton-Wood "seemed to have a kind of uncle-nephew relationship" with the boy, who had been a pupil at a school where he was a substitute teacher in Suffolk, but she never liked him.

She said she was "horrified" when Barton-Wood turned up at her flat in London with the boy.

"He wasn’t invited by me, I wasn’t expecting him, I didn’t like him," she said.

She said she was "angry" with Barton-Wood for bringing the boy, but reluctantly let them stay the night as it was late.

She described claims that she undressed in front of the boy in the bedroom as "complete lies", and said she got changed in the shower.

Jurors were shown a full-length nightie with long sleeves and a high neck that Perrett, who was raised in a Christian household, said she wore that night.

She said nothing sexual happened that night.

She said that the following morning while she was in the shower, the boy "forced himself into the shower".

"He was naked but he had a condom on his penis," she said.

Asked if she said anything, she replied: "I was frozen in terror and he grabbed my wrists and pushed his penis against my pubic bone.

She said Barton-Wood did not see what happened.

Sallie Bennett-Jenkins, for Perrett, asked her if the incident affected her relationship with Barton-Wood.

She replied "yes", and, when asked how, said: "I ended it."

In questioning, she later said: "I was angry that (Barton-Wood) brought him but he couldn’t have had any idea what was going to happen."

She said that the boy contacted her years later as an adult, and she felt it was "menacing".

"He said ’seeing as you’re doing very nicely for yourself and you’ve got a very nice place here and seeing as I have nothing and seeing as I came to London to your gargantuan flat and seeing as I slept in your enormous bed, what do you think?"

She added: "There’s no truth in any of (these allegations) and I’ve had to listen to lie upon lie."

Perrett, of Bridge Street, Alpheton, Suffolk, denies six counts of indecent assault.

Barton-Wood, of Church Street, Wymondham, Norfolk, denies seven counts of indecent assault and, one count of attempted indecent assault.

The trial continues.

- PA

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