UK music teacher, 71, is charged with 12 counts of sex abuse

UK music teacher, 71, is charged with 12 counts of sex abuse


norman lebrecht

October 04, 2013

Francis McPeake, a well-known folk musician and teacher in Northern Ireland, stands accused of abusing a child under the age of 16, between 2009 and 2010. Local BBC story here.



  • Faye says:

    Perhaps it would be better to wait till a court has made a judgement before posting these articles. I don’t know the man, or the facts, but we should always assume innocence before a court has made a decision

  • Sardis says:

    I don’t see your point. This is a news item which is presenting information. It is making no judgement.

  • Ian Pace says:

    This blog post is giving no verdict on guilt or innocence, just publishing what newspapers are equally free to publish, that someone has been charged with these offences.

    • Phil says:

      It would be ‘someone’ if he were anonymous, but as it is it’s a person with a name. I don’t see why they shouldn’t be allowed anonymity unless/until found guilty. It always strikes me as an imbalance, the accusers always being ‘protected’ by anonymity. Why ‘protection’, since there is no shame or blame in being a victim, as the charities and campaigners teach us so well. I think if I were a victim, I would like the catharthis of being seen and understood to get justice (unless I’m underage and need protecting from the limelight). Instead, we get only the identities of the accused displayed as soon as a hint of a charge emerges. This is one reason it draws the unwelcome tag of witch-hunt: the community watches to see whether the accused will float or sink. Granted, modern day court procedures are a little more sophisticated than that, but there’s an element of voyeurism and entertainment taken from ‘the demon amongst us’ which is the same.

    • Michael says:

      If somebody –charged with these accusations– has his/her name out in the public and gets cleared later ( and that has happened ) then the accused person’s life would still be ruined,as these accusations stick forever.

      Quite a number of innocent people have –understandably–committed suicide over false allegations of that kind.

      Here is a report from Canada dealing with that complicated issue.

      If the above guy is guilty: of course name and shame him.

      Until then I would advocate name suppression.

  • C.Czaja Sager says:

    revealing that Slipped Disc is so interested in “Daily Mail”/Bild sex -obsessed journalism.

    There is an obvious political agenda that seems to shape the articles.

    let’s have film clips of musicians, exchange of ideas, interviews, reviews and no prurient sensation: there are too many Bild/Daily Mirror and the like, no?

    Back to music, ideas, and life affirming interests ?

  • Charles Castleman says:

    His reputation is forever ruined, even if cleared. The musicians on Facebook will never hear about it if he is found innocent, only knowing what they read in this blog, and if they see his name again will say “Oh, the child molester”