Ex-St Paul’s head of music is charged with indecency

Ex-St Paul’s head of music is charged with indecency


norman lebrecht

December 07, 2018

Malcolm Archer, 66, has been summonsed on one count of indecent assault and one of gross indecency. The alleged incidents took place in the 1970s.

Archer was director of music at St Paul’s Cathedral, 2004-2007, and a respected composer of some 200 published works.

He was director of chapel music at Winchester College from 2007 until his retirement this year.

Presumptions of innocence apply.

UPDATE July 2019: Trial report here.

UPDATE: Malcolm Archer is innocent


  • Karl says:

    Presumptions of innocence apply, but no one wins the trial by media. There is no way a 40 year old allegation will be able to be proven or disproven.

    • Saxon Broken says:

      Er…he does not have to “disprove” the allegation. Rather those accusing him will have to prove he is guilty. But, a trial would mean there is a case to answer. Again, that does not mean guilt, it still isn’t proven.

      And, absolutely, it will be difficult to establish a defence about something that is “alleged to have happened” forty years ago. Trial by media really means trial by the readers (e.g. you), making judgements without the facts. So, in your own mind, don’t find him guilty and respect the decision of the trial.

  • Plush says:

    Absurd and sladerous. Old allegations seek money that is not there.

  • Chorister says:

    Knew him very well 1972-1974- these accusations are totally ludicrous

  • - says:

    I for one, am not surprised.

  • Sarah says:

    I find it incredulous that the identities of the accused are bandied about in the media prior to their court cases. Their identities should be withheld until a verdict is reached. When, and if a man is found to be not guilty, the ‘mud’ sticks and his life can never be the same.

  • Andrew - chorister says:

    Nonsense. One of the most and thoroughly decent, very kind humans I’ve ever met. Also, privacy until after trials should be obligation. Also the bigotry of so called safeguarding is a bad and awful joke, I speak as a victim of them myself, my being a victim, never helped, of all sorts. This man is top quality and I’m very upset to hear of this and I pledge my support and prayers.

  • Andrew says:

    The bigotry of establishments’ immediacy of ‘strictly dealing with all the authorities’ in current, I would say, frightening, sick culture, is a massive part of the problem, immediately slamming an accused person, in effect, themselves, aiding abuse to innocents. God love all concerned and, please, may wisdom, love and common sense prevail.

  • David says:

    I knew him in the 70s after he arrived in Norwich. There were rumours of him being a little too friendly with some of the teenagers in the school. Difficult to know if everything was above board, but different times and a different climate from now.

  • Bristol chorister says:

    He [redacted] at Bristol. [redacted]

    The case is presently on trial. Any comment would be sub judice.

  • Stainer says:

    As of today, found unanimously not guilty on both counts. Case closed.