Queen's Ex-Choirmaster Jailed for Child Sex Crimes; Five Years for `Deplorable' Assaults

Daily Post (Liverpool, England), August 26, 2004 | Go to article overview

Queen's Ex-Choirmaster Jailed for Child Sex Crimes; Five Years for `Deplorable' Assaults


Byline: JOHN BINGHAM

THE Queen's former choirmaster was jailed for more than five years yesterday for a string of sex attacks on children up to 30 years ago.

Jonathan Rees-Williams, 55, had been hailed by his peers as one of the finest practitioners in his field who rose through top posts in leading cathedrals to serve the Royal Family as organist and choirmaster at St George's Chapel, Windsor.

Even one of his victims spoke of being ``in awe'' of him. But his reputation lay in tatters after allegations of sexual abuse earlier in his career emerged.

A police investigation uncovered a catalogue of incidents involving both male and female victims over a 14-year period between 1975 and 1989.

And after five men and one woman, all now in adult life, relived their childhood experiences before a jury at Reading Crown Court in June, he was convicted of 18 separate charges of indecent assault -- five of which he admitted.

At the same court yesterday, Judge Jonathan Playford QC jailed Rees-Williams, of Handford Way, Bristol, for five years for the indecent assaults as well as a further three months, to run consecutively, for possessing 127 indecent images of children on two computers.

Passing his sentence, the judge acknowledged that Rees-Williams had ``fallen from the top to the bottom of society'' but described his crimes as ``deplorable and offensive to the public''. …

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