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Former Royal Northern College of Music Teacher Sentenced for Indecent Assaults

By Associate, Personal Injury

Duncan McTier, a world-renowned double-bassist, who taught at the Royal Northern College of Music and Purcell School in Hertfordshire, has been given a 3 month suspended jail sentence for two years and ordered to undertake 240 months of unpaid work after pleading guilty to two counts of indecent assault and one count of attempted indecent assault.

The assaults involved three of his female students and all took place in McTier’s home in the 1980s and 1990s.

McTier is one of a number of teachers from prestigious music schools convicted of indecently assaulting pupils. In September, former Conductor from Chetham’s School of Music, Nicholas Smith, was sentenced to eight months imprisonment after being found guilty of sexual assault against a 15 year old girl.

Last year, former Chetham’s director of music, Michael Brewer was convicted and sentenced to six years for indecently assaulting female pupil, Frances Andrade, who tragically committed suicide following the trial. Two other former teachers who both taught at the Royal Northern College of Music, Wen Zhou Li and Malcolm Layfield, are currently facing charges in relation to similar assaults and are due to stand trial next year.

Unfortunately, as these cases demonstrate, the intimate relationship between musician and teacher can be open to abuse. It is very common in these types of elite establishments for pupils to have one to one lessons with their tutors. This case is an example of how close contact can lead to abuse in a position of trust and exploitation of pupils.

Recently, the Principal of the Royal Northern College of Music, Linda Merrick commented that it is likely the music sector will be reviewing this ‘one to one’ teaching model in the future in attempt to prevent this from happening.

Speaking before the sentence was imposed, one of McTier’s victims stated that “it is not acceptable for teachers to abuse their position of trust in this way” and that “those who do so will be punished” irrespective of the length of time that has elapsed since the crimes were committed. It is important that victims of abuse are aware that it is never too late to speak out and seek justice and we hope that outcomes such as these will give them the confidence to do so.

It is vital that anyone with any evidence relating to claims of sexual assault at Chetham’s contacts Operation Kiso if they have not already done so to ensure that these very serious matters are properly investigated.

Slater and Gordon's team of Abuse Lawyers are already representing several victims from Chetham’s and are experienced in dealing with cases involving well known and prestigious Schools.

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