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Richard Barton-Wood who has worked as a church warden at Wymondham Abbey and renowned harpist charged with sexual abuse

PUBLISHED: 14:47 22 June 2017 | UPDATED: 15:31 22 June 2017

Ipswich Crown Court. Archant Library.

Ipswich Crown Court. Archant Library.

Archant

A man who has been a church warden and publicity officer at Wymondham Abbey and a renowned harpist have been charged with sexually abusing a teenage boy.

The harpist, Danielle Perrett, 58, of Bridge Street, Alpheton, in Suffolk, is accused of seven indecent assaults.

Richard Barton-Wood, 68, of Church Street, Wymondham, Norfolk, is said to have been involved in teaching in Suffolk when the alleged offences are reported to have happened.

Barton-Wood has pleaded not guilty at Ipswich Crown Court to five counts of indecent assault on a teenage male, two charges of attempting to commit a serious sexual offence and a further allegation of attempting to indecently assault a teenager.

The allegations date back to the 1980s.

Due to a procedural issue Perrett’s plea hearing was delayed until a later date. A further hearing was set for Perrett on December 15.

During the hearing, 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 defendants were released on conditional bail.

The couple were understood to be in a relationship at the time of the alleged offences.

The pair first appeared before the magistrates court in Ipswich on May 23, when their case was sent to the town’s court.

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.

Perrett has played at Buckingham Palace and the Palace of Versailles. She has been a concerto soloist at major concert halls around the world.

Perrett has performed in Europe, North America, Africa, Australasia, India, and the Far East. Her recordings have received the acclaim of the world’s media. Perrett has broadcast on radio, TV, and has appeared in several films, including the BBC’s TV film of the Jane Austen novel Persuasion.

She has played music for the royal family on many occasions, and for four consecutive prime ministers.

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