Former student claims he was molested by East Morton concert pianist

John Briggs

John Briggs

First published in News
Last updated
by

A former piano student who claims he was molested by world famous musician John Briggs has described how he felt repulsed following an incident at his ''pad''.

During a police interview the complainant, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, revealed how Briggs would regularly put his hand down his trousers and also pull down the schoolboy's underpants as the youngster tried to do exercises aimed at strengthening his stomach muscles to improve his posture.

The complainant said he felt uncomfortable and embarrassed although Briggs never touched his genitals, but he finally spoke out after an incident in the converted attic at the concert pianist's home.

The man, who had started going for lessons with Briggs from the age of 14, said he had been invited round to his home one morning so he could do some extra practice for his upcoming Grade 8 exam.

He described how he arrived at about 9am and Briggs answered the door wearing a full-length pink satin dressing gown.

The complainant said Briggs was a flamboyant character who used unconventional teaching methods and that morning he had gone to his home expecting to be able to practice on his £25,000 Steinway piano.

But he said he got the impression that Briggs had forgotten he was coming and the concert pianist asked him to follow him upstairs to his living space in the attic.

The complainant described how the room had glass patio doors in it, a big white leather corner sofa, a deep-pile carpet, a big television and a massive bed.

The man said he had never seen a room like it, but he felt ''total dread'' when Briggs said they should do the stomach exercises while they were there.

The court heard how Briggs allegedly laid on the bed and told the complainant to walk round and lie down alongside him.

The man said he vividly remembered Briggs opening his dressing gown and being naked.

The complainant alleged that Briggs then told him to put his hand on him so he could show him the stomach exercise.

''He got hold of my arm and he brought it over to him and it was that action that really made me think that's it,'' said the complainant.

''I remember saying this isn't right. I'm not doing this.''

The man said he went down the stairs and out of the house without looking back.

He described Briggs' living space as being like ''a pad'' and said he felt repulsed by the incident.

''I just recoiled from the whole thing,'' he added.

He told the police officer that he had given an account of what happened to his mum when he got home, but he could not remember what she said at the time.

The complainant later made a mess of his examination and Briggs told his father that he was wasting his money sending him for lessons because he had no talent and obviously was not practising.

The man said he had talked about the alleged incidents involving Briggs with his wife and had even written a letter to the newly set-up Childline organisation.

He said he had also tried to get in contact with Briggs himself after the publicity surrounding Jimmy Savile.

The complainant said when he saw newspaper reports about other allegations against Briggs he wanted to support the people involved.

Briggs, 65, of Little Lane, East Morton, has denied a total of ten allegations involving two former piano students and three former members of Keighley Sea Cadets.

The nine charges of indecent assault on a male person and one of indecency with a child cover a 25-year period beginning in the late 1960s.

When interviewed by the police Briggs denied any sexual assaults.

He said all the allegations were made up and it was “a vicious conspiracy against him”.

The trial continues.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree