Singing teacher jailed after 'groping'

A PROMINENT Essex singing teacher who rubbed and massaged the breasts of his female pupils during private music sessions has been jailed. David Gwyn-Jones, 67, enjoyed a successful career as a music tutor with both the Trinity College of Music in London and Essex County Council before offering one-to-one music coaching from his former studio in Station Road, Brightlingsea.

A PROMINENT Essex singing teacher who rubbed and massaged the breasts of his female pupils during private music sessions has been jailed.

David Gwyn-Jones, 67, enjoyed a successful career as a music tutor with both the Trinity College of Music in London and Essex County Council before offering one-to-one music coaching from his former studio in Station Road, Brightlingsea.

But yesterday the pensioner started an eight-month jail spell after being found guilty of seven counts of indecently assaulting female students between July 2001 and February 2003.

The court had heard how Gwyn-Jones asked some of his female pupils to remove their tops during lessons and, during one lesson, had “tapped out a rhythmic beat” on a pupil's nipples.

He was also ordered to pay £6,250 in legal costs, banned from ever teaching another female pupil and told he would need to inform the authorities as to his whereabouts for the next ten years.

Gwyn-Jones, who boasted more than 40 years as a music professional, was found guilty by a jury at Chelmsford Crown Court and yesterday emerged before Judge David Turner, QC, to hear his sentence.

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While delivering the sentence, Judge Turner QC said: “You rubbed and massaged breasts in ways which were no accident.

“One victim vomited after she left a lesson and another reversed her car into a lorry because was so flustered. The lasting effects of this sort of behaviour cannot be minimised. They have been distressed by what has occurred.

“You were simply exploiting the sexual frisson of the occasion for you own sexual interests. You took shameful advantage of that for your own sexual purposes.

“They thought they were in the hands of a true professional, but the hands they were actually in were groping hands.

“The court faces a difficult sentencing exercise. I'm caught between doing what is best for you and reflecting the outrage not only felt by the victims but also the public.”

John Kearney, mitigating for Gwyn-Jones, said: “It goes without saying that the thought of going to prison has weighed heavily on his mind. He is extremely worried about it as are his family.”

He added that Gwyn-Jones was now in poor health.

Gwyn-Jones, who now lives in Elsdale Road, Paignton, Devon, was acquitted of eight similar charges at Basildon Crown Court in 1999. He retired after 27 years with Essex County Council in 1993.

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