December 7, 2009 / 3:45 PM / 9 years ago

Ex-UK royal harpist handled stolen goods

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.

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

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.

She met Davies in January this year on a street corner in Gloucester, western England, when he gave her a bag of heroin.

“When I first met Will he had one of my leaflets — it’s got photos of me and Prince Charles. He went round telling his friends and the dealers about me,” she said.

“I was getting comments from those people like ‘Say hello to Prince Charles for me’. I was worried about those people selling my story to the press, about my drug addiction.”

Phillips, who held the post of royal harpist until 2007 playing at numerous royal events including the wedding of Queen Elizabeth’s grandson, Peter Phillips, said she was now clean of drugs and was in therapy.

Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Steve Addison

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