Ex-LSO Chorus master is jailed again

Ex-LSO Chorus master is jailed again


norman lebrecht

August 09, 2018

Joseph Cullen, 58, former director of the London Symphony Chorus and the Huddersfield Chorus Society, has been jailed for a second time for child sex offences.

He was found guilty of abusing a nine-year-old boy while he was choirmaster at St Andrews Cathedral in Glasgow in the 1980s.

Cullen was jailed for 10 months. In 2015 he was sent down for 12 months in Glasgow for using lewd and libidinous conduct against two other boys.

Report here.


  • Mike Schachter says:

    This is the third time.

  • Doug says:

    Isn’t it interesting how the criminal justice system is handling this instead of Twitter and Facebook?

  • Alex Davies says:

    From what I have heard about Cullen I shouldn’t be remotely surprised were yet more allegations to come to light.

    • Una says:

      So if that is the case, get on with it! Get out of tge woidwork and finish the job. Those who suffer the most out of all of this are his three lovely children who with Sally were never party to any of this. Prison is not the answer.

      • Mary says:

        Here here, Una

      • Alex Davies says:

        What am I supposed to do about it? As my post implies, any information I have about Cullen is hearsay. I cannot go to the police to tell them what somebody else told me. That is not the way the law works in this country.

        I agree that it must be terrible for his wife and children, but surely those who actually suffer the most are his victims. Yes, being the wife or child of a serial child abuser is going to be pretty awful, but it’s not going to be as bad as having actually suffered the abuse oneself.

        You say that prison is not the answer, but what do you think is the answer? In general, I think that we send too many people to prison and that there needs to be a different way of dealing with criminals in many cases, especially people with drug/alcohol problems and mental health problems. But prison will always remain the most appropriate option for people who have committed really serious violent crimes such as sexual offences. Prison is the best place for somebody like Cullen, not least for public protection, hopefully effective sex offender treatment, deterrence to others like him, and as a retributive punishment to demonstrate how seriously society condemns his crimes. The only problem is that the sentence is so short. Sentencing guidelines need to be revised to enable courts to send sex offenders to prison for very much longer than they currently are.

        • Nick2 says:

          Alex is correct. Our thoughts should be far more with those he abused.

          • Una says:

            Also put yourself into the position of Joseph’s kids all school age. Nothing to do with them – they came years later as did his lovely wife – except they find the dad they love in prison 250 miles north. The abused had years to come forward and me they didn’t and now nearly 50 years old. There are no winners in any of this, just losers but the ones who have been sentenced and suffer the most, including being bullied at school – are in fact the Cullen family – not the abused and not Joseph.

          • Frederick West says:

            Indeed. It’s simply not good enough to bring out the sympathy card. He should have thought of that before he embarked upon his abuse.

          • Alex Davies says:

            Una, are you arguing that people who have spouses and children should never be sent to prison? There are around 83,620 people in prison in the UK. A lot of those people have spouses and children. Yes, I’m sure it’s hard on them. But prison has to be an option (and is probably the only appropriate option) for people who commit serious violent crimes.

            You clearly fail to understand the nature of Cullen’s offending and its impact on the victims. When somebody commits offences against children it is typically very difficult for the victims even to fully comprehend the criminal nature of what has been done to them, let alone to report the incident to the police in a timely fashion. That is why paedophiles use techniques of grooming. It massively reduces the risk of being found out.

            You also fail to understand the lifelong and devastating nature of the impact on the victims. It is normal for victims of child sexual abuse to suffer severe and long-term mental health problems. CSA is frequently associated with conditions such as depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, personality disorders, gender dysphoria, body dysmorphic disorder, eating disorders, self-harm, drug and alcohol abuse, dysfunctional adult relationships, and suicide. Please try to look beyond your rather bizarre prejudices and try to see how awful this will have been for the victims.

            You say that there are no winners, and, in a way, you are right. But there is one winner, and that is justice itself. It is a good thing that a criminal has, albeit belatedly, been brought to justice and punished.

          • Una says:

            No justice, just a pile of even more damaged lives – and more children as a result who had nothing to do with any of this.

      • Another Victim says:

        I’m gobsmacked. It is interesting that you mention Sally and it didn’t get redacted. I can’t say anything about Sally or it will be redacted.

        [redacted: criminal libel]

      • Alex Davies says:

        I know, this blog has a haphazard approach to redacting alleged libel. I once had a comment about [redacted] deleted as being libellous even though it said nothing whatsoever that was not entirely factually true (and proven by due process of law and widely reported in the media at the time). [redacted:legally unsafe]

        • norman lebrecht says:

          This site is not prepared to support libellous comments, both for our own protection and for that of the commenters who would be liable for damages on their own part. Those who post defamatory remarks will be permanently banned.

    • Simon Scott says:

      Let’s hope that they come bloody fast. Cullen is a total perverted shithead. Let the bastard rot in jail

  • Maddie says:

    Una, I don’t understand your need to rank the suffering of those associated with this case. Of course his children will be suffering greatly because of this terrible situation, but to say that their suffering is greater than that of those Cullen abused over many years? I just don’t understand why you would say that. Nobody actually knows what his victims have experienced – either at the time of the abuse or the consequences later in life as a result of it. You say the victims had years to come forward and didn’t? Perhaps his victims only felt able to speak out recently due to changing attitudes to men in previously unassailable positions….Savile, Rolf Harris, music school abuse uncovered etc etc….

  • Me! says:

    This site obviously has a lot of pedophile readers and enablers, always posts insanely defending them and their actions and trying to downplay that crimes which cause grave harm and are known by perpetrators as illegal- so refreshing to see sane counter post. Of course the family needs to re view the person they thought they knew and come to terms with reality he hid (and in retrospect glimpses they may have seen)

    • Alex Davies says:

      I think the problem isn’t that Norman has a disproportionately large number of objectionable people reading his blog, but that the small number of objectionable people who read his blog have a disproportionate tendency to post comments. It baffles me why people continue to minimise the serious of these crimes, but I like to think that they are probably just stupid, as the alternative is worse.

      • Maria says:

        No one is condoning or minimizing the seriousness of all of this – far from it. But there are other children now indirectly implicated and more lives damaged, namely his own three kids. And you think this is okay?