Tuesday 26 September 2017

Violin teacher 'regrets' sex with female students in his care

Malcom Layfield arrives at Manchester Crown Court to face charges of raping a pupil in the 1980's while he was a violin teacher at Chetham's music school Credit: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire
Malcom Layfield arrives at Manchester Crown Court to face charges of raping a pupil in the 1980's while he was a violin teacher at Chetham's music school Credit: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire

Kim Pilling

A violin teacher has told a jury he was "regretful" about a string of sexual relationships with female students in his care but insisted he was not a rapist.

Malcolm Layfield, 63, is said to have used his "power and influence" to sexually assault an 18-year-old student in the back of his car during a residential music course in Cornwall in the early 1980s.

Manchester Crown Court has heard that Layfield pursued a number of relationships with students, the youngest being 17, throughout the decade

Giving evidence in his defence, Layfield said he did not rape one of them who he taught at Chetham's School of Music and the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM), both in Manchester.

Malcom Layfield arrives at Manchester Crown Court to face charges of raping a pupil in the 1980's while he was a violin teacher at Chetham's music school Credit: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire
Malcom Layfield arrives at Manchester Crown Court to face charges of raping a pupil in the 1980's while he was a violin teacher at Chetham's music school Credit: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire

He claims the sex in his car on the Cornish trip was consensual.

Layfield told his barrister, Benjamin Myers QC, that the relationships were "highly inappropriate".

Asked why, he replied: "Because the student/teacher relationship should not cross that area, and looking back I feel remorseful and very regretful about them. They should not have happened."

Mr Myers asked: "How long did these relationships last?"

The defendant said: "Well I had a number and they lasted over different lengths of time.

"I was not brazen about them. I suppose I didn't try to actively hide they were happening."

He went on: "I feel still incredibly bad about it, I am remorseful and regretful about what happened. The thought that this may have affected people's lives is one I will always carry."

Layfield added he had since sought to "make amends" by helping in any way he could.

He later agreed with prosecutor Peter Cadwallader that his behaviour towards students in the 1980s was "shameful".

Layfield, of Castle Quay, Castlefield, Manchester, denies one count of rape.

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