Classical violinist Victoria Yellop 'coerced' into staging burglary

  • 11/07/2017
Victoria Yellop
After the crime, Ms Yellop reported the 'burglary' to police, and claimed she had returned home to a smashed front door. Photo credit: Facebook/Victoria.Yellop

A classical musician who has performed for the Queen assisted in a fake burglary where her boyfriend stole items worth thousands of dollars.

The Daily Mail reported classical violinist Victoria Yellop was housesitting an actor friend's place when she was 'coerced' into helping stage a burglary for her partner.

Mark James, 34, stole around NZ$44,000 worth of goods including clothes, watches, champagne and around $5000 in cash.

After the crime, Ms Yellop reported the incident to police, and claimed she had returned home to a smashed front door.

But the entire story had been fabricated and, in fact, the 'robbery' was orchestrated by Ms Yellop's partner as witnesses saw, and later reported, her present at the property while the items were loaded into a vehicle.

The home owner, Wayne Taylor, told the court he found her version of the supposed burglary strange.

Maidstone Crown Court also heard Mr James later assaulted Mr Taylor with a baseball bat, and threatened his family if he went to police.  

When police searched the home Ms Yellop shared with her boyfriend they found the stolen goods, along with $1770 worth of cocaine and other drug paraphernalia.

The court heard late last week that when interviewed by police, Ms Yellop maintained the burglary had occurred, and that the cocaine was hers.

But she was found to have subverted the course of justice, theft and involvement in the supply of a class A drug.

However she avoided a jail sentence, and Judge Philip Statman said the musician's boyfriend had 'controlled and dominated' her.

"As a result, you were physically beaten, your mental health suffered, your use of cocaine, although started earlier in life, developed and that this all led to you committing these offences."

He said she was highly intelligent, gifted, and vulnerable.

According to her website, she played a violin solo at Golden Jubilee celebrations at Windsor in 2002.

She also performed with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, violinist Vanessa Mae, and singers Gloria Gaynor and Will Young.

Victoria Yellop
Photo credit: Facebook/Victoria.Yellop

The prosecution accepted she had been in a 'troubled and violent' relationship.

Mr James was jailed for five years for his involvement at a previous hearing last year.

He admitted theft, assault causing bodily harm, possession of a class A drug with intent to supply and a road-rage attack.

Ms Yellop will complete a two-year community sentence and undergo rehabilitation.