Ipswich Crown Court
Ipswich Crown Court Wiki Commons

A world-renowned harpist is accused of having sex with a 14-year-old boy before her partner got into the bed and sexually assaulted him, a court has heard.

Danielle Perrett, 59, has performed for the Queen and several prime ministers. She reportedly met the boy after Richard Barton-Wood, 68, took him to watch her play at a recital in 1984, The Times reported. The two are accused of engaging in sexual activity with the boy on a number of occasions between March and September 1984.

According to the BBC, the alleged offences emerged when the alleged victim confronted the two as an adult. The complainant cannot be named for legal reasons.

William Carter QC, prosecuting, said Barton-Wood first met the alleged victim when he worked as a substitute teacher and the complainant was a pupil.

Ipswich Crown Court heard how Barton-Wood invited the teenager to come sailing with him, with the boy recalling waking up on a boat to find he was being sexually abused.

Carter said the alleged victim claimed this happened on several occasions, including during camping trips.

On a separate occasion, Barton-Wood allegedly took the teenager to a flat with Perrett, with the boy waking up as Perrett was undressing and got into bed with him. Perrett, of Bridge Street in Alpheton, Suffolk, then "cuddled up" to the boy and had sex with him, Carter told the court.

Barton-Wood , of Church Street in Wymondham, Norfolk, then joined Perrett and the boy in bed and indecently assaulted the boy, the court heard.

"[The boy] describes her as kind and gentle," Carter said. "Young as he was, it seems he fell in love with her.

"He was obviously too young to consent to what was happening. It amounts to sexual abuse of that young boy."

The alleged victim and Perrett slept together on multiple occasions at a London flat where Barton-Wood was also present, the court heard. The jury also learned how Barton-Wood would give the boy money, buy him cigarettes and alcohol and sometimes smoke cannabis with him, The Telegraph reported.

Perrett faces eight counts of indecent assault. Barton-Wood is accused of eight sexual offences, including six counts of indecent assault. The two, who are no longer in a relationship, deny the charges.

The trial is expected to last two weeks and is being overseen by Judge Rupert Overbury. The trial continues on Thursday (4 January), when the victim is expected to give evidence.