The third Chetham’s sex abuse trial has begunmain
The rape trial has opened at Manchester Crown Court of Malcolm Layfield, former violin teacher at Chethams School and head of strings at the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM).
Layfield is an internationally known teacher and performer. Founder of the Goldberg Ensemble, he has appeared at New York’s international Bang on a Can festival and has claimed to have played as concertmaster at the Carmel Bach Festival in California*. He was also leader of the London Bach Orchestra.
According to prosecution statements tweeted from the court by the Guardian’s Helen Pidd:
– In the summer of 1982 Malcolm Layfield raped an 18-year-old pupil he taught the violin, Manchester crown court hears.
– Malcolm Layfield admits “inappropriate sexual relationships” with a number of pupils, including the complainant, but denies 1 count of rape.
– One of Malcolm Layfield’s pupils claims he plied her with drink and drove her to “the middle of nowhere” and raped her when she was 18.
– A police video interview given by Layfield’s alleged victim is shown to the jury. Supervision “woefully inadequate” at Chetham’s in 1982.
The BBC’s Dave Guest adds:
– In video interview Mr Layfield’s accuser says: “He was going to have sex with me and there was nothing I could do about it.”
For updates on the trial follow @helenpidd and @mrdaveguest.
This is the third of five likely trials exposing allegations of decades of sexual abuse at Chetham’s and RNCM.
Michael Brewer, Chetham’s former Director of Music, was jailed for six years for assaults on a 14 year-old girl; his accuser, Frances Andrade, killed herself during the course of the trial.
Nicholas Smith, a conducting teacher, was jailed last year for eight months.
After Layfield, trials are expected of Wen Zhou Li and Chris Ling, both ex-Chet’s teachers.
The present head of Chet’s, Claire Moreland, who was not there at the time of the alleged offences, has announced her early retirement.
Here’s a PA report on the trial’s first day.
* Update: we are informed by the Carmel Bach Festival that he participated once, in 1994, as second chair in the first violins, not as concertmaster.