Support for Danielle

A message to Danielle’s multitude of supporters.

Thank you…

…to all of the 500+ people who have known or met Danielle over the years who have sent messages of support and unfaltering faith in her.

We all know, as those who do not know her cannot, that she is completely innocent of the charges of which she was convicted.

The reason why we know that she is innocent – and a victim of a terrible miscarriage of justice – is that the allegations against her were not just ‘out of character’ in a way which can be brushed off – they are the absolute antithesis of everything she has ever stood for, to a level which makes it absolutely impossible for her to commit them.

Her kindness, compassion, integrity and selfless consideration for others are stamped through her like writing through a stick of rock. She is one of the finest human beings we have all known and that cannot be destroyed by the unsubstantiated and contradictory allegations of a single individual.

Danielle has been a beacon of popularity for all of her many students, male and female, over the past 30+ years with not a single breath of controversy.

A notable feature of the ‘Me too’ era is to show that predatory sexual behaviour is not a one-off, but a repeating pattern. When someone complains, others show up. In Danielle’s case, many other people have indeed come forward: former students, their parents and colleagues – every single one of them to show support and belief in Danielle’s innocence.

It is notable that, on the same day that Danielle was sentenced, it was reported that over 97% of criminal lawyers complained of disclosure failings and over 400 believed that there had been wrongful convictions or miscarriages of justice.

But if failings of disclosure of collected evidence can lead to miscarriages of justice, what about situations where such evidence cannot be collected in the first place because the alleged offences took place over 30 years ago?

Add that to a vagueness of detail and time in the allegations, which suit the complainant, and the inherent obstruction of defendants’ ability to produce evidence to counteract them, and we’re led to a ‘perfect storm’ of opportunity for wrongful convictions.

For an example, look no further.

 

A small selection of messages of support

We were so sad to hear the news today and just want you to know that you are very much in our thoughts and prayers. We hope an Appeal with go ahead in the near future; you know we believe, as we always have, in your innocence. For the time being, sending you our love.
M&J

I am so so so sorry, sad, cross, shocked at this!!!!
The only good thing I read – which we all know is true is the judge said:
‘world-famous harpist with a reputation for kindness and integrity’.
SR

I am an old friend and colleague of Danielle’s and I knew her at the time this stuff was supposed to have been going on (I don’t believe a word of it).
I’m horrified and disgusted that a person with no criminal history could have been convicted on the strength of no more than the 34-year-old stories told by one person. I thought British justice needed evidence to before someone even went trial.
DW

I am totally shocked and dismayed by this horrendous outcome I am actually crying. As though there isn’t enough heartache in our worlds that such a lovely person has to endure this.
FW

We are really lost for words, not that any would really help, but we do all believe in you and pray you will be able to cope with the situation with your usual amazing strength.
GL, DL

I am almost speechless with horror… I’m really glad that appeals are possible although they will be too late to save her from going initially. The trouble is that child abuse is flavour of the month at the moment and these accusers are all being believed.
KS

I want you to know that personally it has not altered my view that Danielle is innocent, and that this is a massive travesty of justice. We are all thinking of her. I hope she can find the strength to hold on to her own self – no-one can destroy that, no matter how much they lie and bully.
IC

It is a cruel travesty, this business, and I never want to end up in front of a court in this country…
V

I am truly  appalled by what has happened to Danielle.
KB

I just want you to know that I’m absolutely devastated by the news today and by the injustice that has been committed. I and my family all love Danielle, we believe in her innocence and always shall. In the meantime I shall hope and pray for this outcome to be changed and that the real truth will be discovered.
VC

You must be devastated and no doubt angry with the law, the system and all those who have slandered Danielle and of course yourself.

It is unacceptable that an innocent person should suffer such a punishment on the hearsay of an unbalanced man thirty years after the alleged incident.
GH

We have always believed in Danielle’s innocence and feel for you both having to go  through this awful ordeal. Hoping that an appeal will be possible, with a better outcome.
MP

It’s unbelievable, and so undeserved. Poor poor Danielle.
JM

We are aghast and disbelieving. This is devastating news and it feels like a nightmare even to us, how much more to you. We will do all we can to support you.  Read recently in the Bible about Job, and about Joseph wrongfully in prison because of accusations… unbelievable that such things can happen, but they do. We will be praying hard tonight, and hope that there will at some stage be better news.
C&T

Just a quick line to say how absolutely appalled I am at the outcome of Danielle’s trial.  From someone who spent years working within the justice system, I am deeply shocked at such a miscarriage of justice and can only hope and pray that the appeal system will at least provide an avenue for this dreadful wrong to be put right.

You must be distraught and despairing and I’m sure no words will help at this time but please be assured that anyone who knows Danielle will never believe these dreadful allegations  – she is a beautiful, honest and gentle soul and I believe in her 100 per cent.
ES

Of course along with all her friends I am appalled by this and was talking about it the other day.  I was hoping that my witness statement alone would make it clear what integrity Danielle had as it was relevant to a teenage boy.
J

Please let dear Danielle know that you and she are as ever very much in minds. Please be assured that our love and support are absolute and unshakeable.
P&SL

I had hoped I wouldn’t need to write a letter like this, but things have gone otherwise.
This does not however change my belief in your innocence…
I am still shocked and pained for you by this verdict and sentence and am praying for you to remain strong.
STR

It’s been a long time since we’ve been in touch.  What a shame it has been occasioned by such a sad event.
I am both shocked and distressed at what has happened.  Danielle is the epitome of elegance, grace and composure and such a caring and kind person.  Nothing was ever too much trouble for her.  It is not a happy image to picture such a gentle soul in prison.
DE

I am overcome with grief at this outcome. Danielle is such an honest, selfless, generous human being and it has been an honour to be her friend and colleague.
N

21 Responses to A small selection of messages of support

  1. I was very sad to learn of Danielle’s conviction on virtually no evidence. Would it be possible to write to her to offer my support?

  2. Hi
    I left a comment elsewhere and no idea if it has found you. I was at Junior RCM with Danielle and we always got on really well. I remember Danielle coming up to play with the Birmingham University orchestra after I had left Junior RCM.
    Like everyone else I find it totally impossible to believe what has happened to Danielle who I remember as the gentlest and most gracious of people.
    I hope that there are some grounds for an appeal – the sentence strikes me as very harsh.
    Please convey my love and best wishes to Danielle – hopefully she will remember the shy French horn player from Junior RCM. Keep strong!

    • You are one of many RCM Junior Dept students and staff members who know that Danielle could and would never have done the things of which she was accused but it is especially meaningful and valued coming from a male former student. Thank you Paul.

  3. These are difficult times but with the support and belief of so many these times will pass. Keep strong, keep resolute and keep proud.

  4. Appalling miscarriage of justice. I have known Danielle for 48 years and I am 100% certain of her innocence. How can she be convicted on the word of a single complainant with no evidence?

    • Especially when the Complainant’s evidence was contradicted by that of his own Mother, the Prosecuting barrister, and known and agreed facts! Just goes to show that juries in this type of case can not always be trusted to bring a logical verdict.

  5. Although I do not know Danielle personally I am convinced of her innocence and I emailed my MP to point out the injustice of her conviction. Unfortunately she was not of very much help but I did infer from her reply that in Scotland where I live it would not have been possible to convict someone merely on the uncorroborated oral testimony of just one person. It is my understanding that under Scottish law two separate and unrelated instances of corroboration would be required before a case could be brought.

    Danielle is in my thoughts and prayers. I hope that an appeal will be possible and she will be released from her undeserved imprisonment soon. I hope God is giving her the strength to cope at this difficult time. She is an immensely talented person who has a great love for her fellow human beings.

    • This is true – in Scotland, you still need evidence. In England and Wales you don’t. In cases such as this which can be emotive and where jury members can have their own agenda even before a word of evidence is given, the current system is unreliable and unjust.

  6. Have just found this website, Dave. It is in all this horror a comfort to find others totally like-minded. And appalling also to discover what the law can be like elsewhere: I agree, the law is more than an ass – that there is no corroboration whatsoever should have made this conviction unsafe, even if it wasn’t thrown out.
    I continue to write emails through ’emailaprisoner’ and am in touch with Margaret – all of which helps us if it does little to help dear Danielle.

  7. I am sure we all hope that Danielle is in good health and is managing to keep her spirits up at this very difficult time. We are all thinking about her.

  8. Like everyone else, I’m shocked and disgusted by the way Danielle has been treated. Does anyone know if there’s a transcript of the trial available? Not only does the result of the trial expose the poor standard of safeguards against false guilty verdicts, it also shows the absurd scale of sentences for such offences. Consider what other types of crime you would have to commit to merit a sentence of nearly 5 years. I hope Danielle copes with what has happened to her through no fault of hers, and will never forget her grace and beauty as a human being as well as a fellow musician.

    • Thank you for your eloquent, and true, comment. Official transcripts should be available from the court but would, I think, be expensive as the service is run by commercial companies. I have a private transcript taken down by the para-legal working for Danielle’s lawyers but I probably can’t share it publicly.

  9. I was so sorry and shocked to to hear about Danielle’s misfortune. I have not known Danielle for long, but I know what a good person she is and how sincere and genuine she is in everything she does.

    I will keep Danielle in my prayers and hope that she will be released soon.

  10. Just thinking – would it be at all possible for Danielle’s legal team to undertake any investigation into the background of the person who made the allegations against her? For example, if it could be demonstrated that he had an unstable personality and that his testimony could not be relied upon, could this provide grounds for an appeal?

    Please convey my best wishes to Danielle and assure her that she is in my thoughts and prayers.

  11. This is ludicrous. Every bit of the allegation sounds insecure.
    Danielle seems to have been tarred with the brush meant for her former partner. The sentence would be harsh even for a proven repeated offence, let alone a single historic uncorroborated allegation in relation to somebody as devoted to society and highest ideals in all she does as Danielle.

    I feel quite ashamed to be in a country with such a twisted and malicious idea of justice. And alarmed. As a man I fully understand that men must not impose sexually upon under-age girls, or boys for that matter. But since by nature a woman doesnt have the mechanism to impose upon the boy, it is implicitly quite a complex matter to ‘prove’ what is said to be proven in this case. I’m not arguing that its not an important issue, just that its a complex enough issue to make this episode feel like one of those travesties you get from a highly skilled prosecution lawyer and an under-funded under-prepared defense.

    Very best wishes, and support for Danielle, and may justice yet prevail. Prayers for Danielle.

    • Thanks for your support Geoffrey. Of course, you’re absolutely correct on all points even though, in our case, Danielle had a top QC representing her. The prosecution barrister was scraping the barrel for things to say in his final speech – as there was no evidence – and still the jury confounded everyone’s expectations with a simply ridiculous verdict.

  12. I’ve sent an email, but wasn’t sure if it got through. As my teacher, Danielle shone through some of my harder times while I had lessons and I still think of her for inspiration in my approach to my music, to helping other harpists and her gentle and caring spirit to all of humanity. Is there any news on any possibility of appeal? PLease, please pass on my love to her, and if there’s any other way I can send support more directly, I would love to know.

  13. I learned yesterday the sad news that a young girl in a Scottish prison had committed suicide due to bullying and harrassment by both the other inmates and the prison officers. This made me think of Danielle and I hope and pray that she is able to cope with the prison regime. Quite frankly I think that so-called British “justice” actually stinks if it can allow someone to be imprisoned and their reputation destroyed purely on the uncorroborated testimony from many years ago of just one person, as with Danielle, and can also allow a fragile person to be driven to suicide in spite of warning signs which were ignored by the prison staff. I devoutly hope that Danielle may still be able to appeal and not have to endure her unjust imprisonment for much longer.

    • You’re right, we do, as should anyone who believes that truth and true justice should prevail.
      However, there’s still no news of a date for the hearing.
      The delay in keeping innocent people in prison is probably yet another manifestation of the lack of funding in our justice system.
      It needs more than a little tic; it needs a major overhaul.

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