East Morton pianist John Briggs 'filmed and fondled' naked sea cadet, court told

Keighley News: John Briggs John Briggs

Concert pianist John Briggs filmed a naked 14-year-old sea cadet and then fondled him, a court heard.

The incident was alleged to have taken place at the musician’s house in East Morton in the early 1990s, Bradford Crown Court was told.

Briggs, 65, of Little Lane, East Morton, has pleaded not guilty to nine charges of indecently assaulting a male person and one of indecency with a child. The allegations involve two former piano students and three former members of Keighley Sea Cadets, covering a 25-year period beginning in the late 1960s.

The jury yesterday heard the evidence of the fourth complainant. In a video recorded interview with the police, the man said he was a sea cadet aged about 14 at the time of the alleged incident. Briggs was president of the Cadets.

He said: “Everybody looked up to John Briggs. I suppose he was a father figure.”

He said he went with a friend to Briggs’ house to do gardening. He said Briggs told them he had been paid £500 to do glove modelling and asked if they would be interested.

The man said they were taken separately to a downstairs living room where Briggs was sat on a sofa and holding a camcorder. He said he stood on a plinth and was told to strip off, rotate and shout out his height, weight, age and eye colour, while the defendant filmed him.

He claimed Briggs then told him to stand in front of him and the musician indecently assaulted him with one hand while filming with the other. He said he was shocked and froze, and now felt disgusted. He said it had affected him as an adult and he had trouble standing naked in front of his wife.

Questioned by Briggs’ barrister, Nick Askins, he said he did what he was asked because Briggs “was the boss and was a big bloke.” He had not gone to the police because “nobody’s going to believe a kid”.

The trial continues.

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