Breaking: St Paul’s ex-chief is cleared of all charges

Breaking: St Paul’s ex-chief is cleared of all charges


norman lebrecht

August 02, 2019

Malcolm Archer, director of music at St Paul’s Cathedral from 2004 to 2007, was cleared today by a jury at Chelmsford Crown Court of two charges of indecent assault and indecency with a child.

Another man, Kenneth Francis, was convicted in the same trial.

Archer, 67, is a prolific composer who was director of chapel music at Winchester College from 2007 until his retirement last year.

He is an innocent man.



  • Kolb Slaw says:

    Does he have any semblance of a career left?

  • sam says:

    “He is an innocent man.”

    He may well be an innocent man, only the Almighty knows, but that’s not how the British criminal justice system works, juries don’t find innocence, they find that the prosecution did not prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt.

    In extraordinarily rare cases, a prosecutor, or a court, will declare the innocence of someone, but those instances one can count on one hand in the last 500 years.

    Plus, doesn’t the prosecution have the right to appeal an acquittal in Britain?

    • Stainer says:

      On what basis? The Jury were unanimous.

      • Woody says:

        I was a juror on this very case and it was a 12 vote unanimous decision of mistaken identity of highly likely and very little convicting evidence for the prosecution

        • Chorister says:

          I knew him very well as an undergraduate… and always thought the charge totally ridiculous. The CPS seemed to have bundled the two cases together for convenience and a better chance of conviction.
          Shame to end such an illustrious career by such sloppy means.
          Having served as a juror myself I know the difficulty in sifting through facts and truth in a courtroom Thanks for clarification of those details….Woody

        • PGTips says:

          Thank you – but your comment doesn’t seem to make sense to me. What is ‘highly likely’?

    • Norbert says:

      The system is different as between England (and Wales,) Scotland, and Northern Ireland. There are 3 criminal jurisdictions.

      There is no such thing as a British system.

      In Scotland there is a third option, called “not proven.”

    • Saxon Broken says:

      Sam writes: “doesn’t the prosecution have the right to appeal an acquittal in Britain?”

      No, not as a rule. You can not be tried for the same offense twice.

      P.S. The juror can not legally disclose the discussion or the reasoning for the decision of the jury (other than what is publicly on the record).

  • Odysseusatbayreuth says:

    Let 100k teen girls get groomed and raped, ignore it for decades because they’re too busy pursuing innocent organists…