Pianist John Briggs jailed for indecent assaults
- 26 February 2014
- From the section Leeds & West Yorkshire
A renowned concert pianist has been jailed for eight years after being found guilty of indecently assaulting music pupils.
John Briggs had denied the attacks on boys aged 10 to 15, between 1969 and 1993.
Bradford Crown Court heard his victims were sea cadets or boys he was teaching piano.
Briggs, 65, of Little Lane, East Morton, in West Yorkshire, has performed at venues across the world.
The court heard two of the victims were boys he gave piano lessons to at his home and the others were members of Keighley Sea Cadets, where Briggs was president at the time and for which he received an MBE for his fundraising activities.
The musician had denied committing any acts against boys and said the victims "made up the allegations in a vindictive campaign against him and there was not a shred of truth in them".
In mitigation, Briggs told the court he had been happily married for 25 years but had developed homosexual tendencies.
Jurors also heard he had kept legal gay pornographic DVDs at his home.
The defendant said he had discovered the tendencies in the past decade and said his wife knew of them but probably had not known about the DVDs.
He had told the jury his motto was "look, don't touch".
He said this had been because he was afraid of contracting Aids and that was why he kept the DVDs to look at occasionally, in what he said was a small part of his life.