‘Wicked and predatory’ music teacher jailed for sexual offences against boys in his choirs
- Credit: Archant
A freelance music teacher has been jailed for a total of 12 years following a series of sexual offences against young boys.
Andrew Simon Wilson, 57, of Norwood Way, Walton-on-the-Naze, groomed certain boys in his choirs by singling them out for special treatment and flattering them so he could lure them into sexual relationships.
After a 17-day trial at Lewes Crown Court he was convicted of 19 offences in Sussex, South London and Germany, which included 16 offences against a total of three boys, aged between nine and 14.
His offences included:
? Two cases of indecent assault and two cases of gross indecency on a boy at locations in Warnham, West Sussex, in the mid-1980s
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? Eight cases of indecent assault and two cases of gross indecency on another boy at locations in Warnham in the mid-1980s
? One case of sexual assault and one case of meeting a child for sexual activity, both relating to another boy between 2008 and 2011, at locations in South London, and in Germany on choir tours
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? Three cases of making a total of 1,366 indecent images of children. The images, all believed to have taken from the internet, were found when police searched his home after his arrest.
Wilson will now be a registered sex offender for life and was given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) to last until further court order, severely restricting his access to young children and computers.
The offending in South London and Germany occurred while he was a choirmaster and music teacher at St Mary’s Church in Beddington, Surrey.
The offences in Warnham occurred while Wilson was choirmaster at St Margaret’s church in the village.
Detective Constable Gemma Nickols, of the Sussex Police Complex Abuse Unit, said: “Wilson has been a committed and highly capable musician over many years, well-known in the world of all-male choirs and choral music.
“His criminal behaviour involved grooming certain boys in his choirs, singling them out for special treatment, flattering them with his notions of how special they were and then luring them into a sexual relationship with him.
“Our investigation started three years ago when one of his Warnham victims contacted us via the recently established Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) and we subsequently traced the other two victims.
“We arrested and first interviewed Wilson in September that year, but he denied any wrongdoing and has done so throughout the trial.
“This meant that all three victims had to give their evidence and were subject to cross-examination.
“We very much admire their courage and fortitude in coming forward, and in supporting the prosecution throughout.”
During the trial, the judge directed the jury to return a verdict of not guilty in relation to one case of alleged indecent assault on another boy in Warnham in the mid-1980s.
An NSPCC spokesman said: “Wilson’s actions were wicked and predatory, robbing his victims of their childhoods.
“Admitting his guilt would have spared them the trauma of reliving their abuse but instead they were forced to recount their experiences in court, paying a heavy emotional toll.
“Cases such as this show that victims can achieve justice no matter how long ago the crime occurred.”