Ex-UK royal harpist handled stolen goods

Mon Dec 7, 2009 1:03pm EST
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LONDON (Reuters Life!) - A former royal harpist, who performed at the wedding of British heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles, faces a possible jail term after she was found guilty Monday of handling stolen goods.

Jemima Phillips, the only musician to play at Charles's wedding to second wife Camilla Parker Bowles in 2005, was accused of burgling houses while battling drug addiction.

The 28-year-old harpist, who told the court she was hooked on heroin when the prince appointed her in 2004, was cleared of three counts of burglary at Gloucester Crown Court.

But she was convicted of the handling charges and had already admitted one count of attempted fraud, the Press Association reported.

Her ex-boyfriend William Davies, 41, was convicted of carrying out four burglaries.

Phillips denied helping with the raids and said she only tried to use the stolen building society card when Davies's associates threatened to tell the press about her addiction.

Judge Michael Harington granted Phillips bail ahead of sentencing but warned she could face jail.

"All sentencing options are open to me on the next occasion -- that is to be understood," he said.

During the trial, Phillips told the jury she had had two abortions, and started using crack cocaine shortly after the second termination, when she was 23 and living in London.   Continued...

<p>Harpist Jemima Phillips, 23, poses for photographs in Stowe, Gloucestershire, western England March 29, 2005. REUTERS/Stringer</p>