Philip Pickett arrested on 15 charges, and interview with Clare Moreland in The Times

On Wednesday, February 12th, the following press release was made available by City of London police (copied here from the blog post on the subject on Slipped Disc):

Man charged over historic sex offences

City of London Police has today, Wednesday 12th February, charged a 63-year-old man with 15 historic offences, relating to nine separate victims.

These charges include eight counts of indecent assault, three counts of rape, two counts of false imprisonment, one count of assault and one count of attempted rape.

Philip John Pickett, from Lyneham, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, a former freelance teacher at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama is accused of,

Rape (contrary to section 1(1) of the Sexual Offences Act 1956), which occurred between 1st October 1977 and 30th November 1977.
Rape (contrary to section 1(1) of the Sexual Offences Act 1956), which occurred between 1st October 1977 and 30th April 1978.
Rape (contrary to section 1(1) of the Sexual Offences Act 1956), which occurred between 1st September 1978 and 30th September 1978.
Attempted rape (contrary to section 1(1) of the Criminal Attempts Act 1981), which occurred between 1st January 1988 and 30th January 1988.
Indecent assault (contrary to section 14 of the Sexual Offences Act 1956), which occurred between 1st January 1974 and 31st December 1974.
Indecent assault (contrary to section 14 of the Sexual Offences Act 1956), which occurred between 1st January 1974 and 31st December 1975.
Indecent assault (contrary to section 14 of the Sexual Offences Act 1956), which occurred between 1st September 1978 and 30th September 1978.
Indecent assault (contrary to section 14 of the Sexual Offences Act 1956), which occurred between 1st January 1977 and 31st December 1979.
Indecent assault (contrary to section 14 of the Sexual Offences Act 1956), which occurred between 1st January 1980 and 31st December 1981.
Indecent assault (contrary to section 14 of the Sexual Offences Act 1956), which occurred between 1st January 1983 and 31st December 1984.
Indecent assault (contrary to section 14 of the Sexual Offences Act 1956), which occurred between 1st January 1988 and 31st December 1988.
Indecent assault (contrary to section 14 of the Sexual Offences Act 1956), which occurred between 1st January 1988 and 31st December 1988.
Assault occasioning actual bodily harm, which occurred between 1st January 1971 and 31st December 1974.
False imprisonment which occurred between 1st October 1977 and 30th November 1977
False imprisonment which occurred between 1st January 1988 and 31st December 1988.

Mr Pickett, who was a freelance teacher at the school between 1972 and 1997, has been bailed to attend City Magistrates Court on 28th February.

Anyone with information that may assist with this investigation is encouraged to contact City of London Police on 020 7601 8177/8175 or via the 101 non emergency number, you can also email: investigation@cityoflondon.police.uk. Alternatively you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

As charges have been brought, I would request that no-one comment here upon this case until after a trial is over.

[UPDATE: A report in the Oxford Mail on Tuesday March 18th, 2014 indicates that Pickett’s trial has been postponed from October 2014 to January 2015 so that the musician can finish touring. Defence barrister Jonathan Barnard said at the Old Bailey ‘My client is a world famous musician and therefore earns his living on a job to job basis and has tours across the globe throughout the autumn – but the season slows down in the new year’. The Crown agreed on the grounds that ‘the allegations are at the latest 20 years old and the earliest, 40 years old’.

Once again, I request no comments upon the case until after the end of the trial.]

On another subject, for the first time since the Michael Brewer, Clare Moreland, head teacher at Chetham’s, agreed to be interviewed by Richard Morrison for The Times yesterday. Morrison himself wrote the following in April of last year:

As a teenager in the late 1960s and early ’70s I had four music teachers who shaped my life. Three were perverts – a not especially large percentage of paedophiles for a musical boy to encounter in that era. The first, the organist at the church where I was a choirboy, placed a clammy hand on his organ pupils’ thighs if they made pedalling mistakes – which was often in my case, since the clammy hand itself induced nervousness (as it was perhaps intended to do). The second, my piano teacher, a professor at a London conservatoire, regularly touched the breasts of both my sisters, who also studied with him. The third, my university tutor, liked to stand right behind male undergraduates as we struggled through keyboard harmony – then run his fingers through our hair.

Since all three are long dead I see no point in ‘outing’ them now. And at the time, msuical children – especially choirboys, or those in hothouse music schools – simply accepted this low-grade but continual molestation from teachers as par for the course. I must also say that each of my teachers was an outstanding musician. They taught me a lot, and their groping did no lasting harm. In that respect I was lucky.’ (Richard Morrison, ‘Music teaching’s dark past is in danger of destroying its future., BBC Music Magazine, April 2013, p. 25).

The interview in The Times (behind a paywall), contains the following passage:

In the eye of the storm has been Claire Moreland, the head teacher since 1999. On legal advice she has said nothing to the press since the crisis began. She broke her silence to talk to The Times. Looking pale, and with her voice often tremulous, she nevertheless defended vigorously the school’s actions over the past year.

When did she first know something was wrong? “I learnt about the possible police investigation of Mike Brewer in late 2011 and I was asked to keep that in confidence,” she replied. “The police came back to see me in 2012 and said they would be carrying out an investigation. As you know the Crown Court case started just over a year ago.” And when did it occur to her that this would be a much larger problem than just one isolated case? “It became increasingly apparent – given the context of the other cases of historic abuse recently come to public attention, the timing and outcome of the Brewer case, and the tragic suicide. We knew that this was bigger when we heard from the police that they were launching a much wider investigation.” (Richard Morrison, ‘Does Chetham’s have a future?’, The Times, 12/2/14).

But this does not appear to concur with a report published two weeks ago in The Independent:

In letters obtained by The Independent, a former Chetham’s pupil wrote to Mrs Moreland and said her “cries for help were met with disbelief”.

Mrs Moreland, who was not head teacher at the time the assaults were said to have occurred, replied in 2002. She said: “Legislation over the last two decades and an increasing awareness of issues surrounding teachers and students means that all schools these days are well-equipped to deal with any allegations.”

In 2002, Professor Gregson replied to another complainant, saying: “I do believe there is a more balanced view which, whilst not condoning [the teacher’s] past, does treat it in a more forgiving manner.”

In a reply to another woman, Mrs Moreland said in 2002: “We have excellent pastoral care systems at Chetham’s and naturally do our utmost to ensure that all the children in our care are extremely wel looked after at all times.”

Operation Kiso is currently looking at sex abuse allegations dating to as recently as 2006, however.

The investigation began after Michael Brewer, the former director of music at Chetham’s, was jailed for six years last March for indecently assaulting a pupil. His victim, Frances Andrade, killed herself after giving evidence against him at his trial, having been accused of lying during cross-examination.

Mrs Andrade had written to Professor Gregson in 2002 regarding sexual abuse claims. Professor Gregson accused her of writing an “emotive letter” that was “potentially libellous”. Mrs Moreland has insisted the sexual abuse allegations are “historic” and that child protection policies at Chetham’s have changed. (Paul Gallagher, ‘Elite music school Chetham’s loses pupils in backlash at allegations of historic sexual abuse’, The Independent, 28/1/14).

Nowhere in the Moreland interview is there any sign of concern for what former pupils might have suffered; the only concern seems to be to rejuvenate the reputation of the school. This attitude should be seen for what it is.

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7 Comments on “Philip Pickett arrested on 15 charges, and interview with Clare Moreland in The Times”

  1. Martin says:

    If you are serious about “no comments” on the press release, why do you follow it with reflections a separate series of allegations against someone else?

  2. […] Philip Pickett arrested on 15 charges, and interview with Clare Moreland in The Times (14/2/14) […]

  3. […] and one count of attempted rape (see the press release from City of London Police reproduced at Ian Pace, ‘Philip Pickett arrested on 15 charges, and interview with Clare Moreland in The Tim…). Quite incredibly, Pickett’s trial was allowed to be postponed from October 2014 to January […]

  4. […] to paedophiles’, Daily Mail, March 1st, 2014), the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (the trial of a former teacher at which will take place in early 2015), and the City of London School for Girls (whose former trumpet teacher Helen Goddard was jailed in […]

  5. […] on charges of rape and sexual assault of students while he was teaching at the Guildhall School. Here is the original list of charges against Pickett from last year; I do not wish to say much more specific to this case, not least because of the possibility of […]

  6. […] on charges of rape and sexual assault of students while he was teaching at the Guildhall School. Here is the original list of charges against Pickett from last year; I do not wish to say much more specific to this case, not least because of the possibility of […]


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