Manchester

Chetham music teacher 'raped student who sang suggestive song'

Chethams School of Music Image copyright David Dixon/Geograph
Image caption Chetham's is one of the country's best-known music schools

A student wearing fishnet stockings sang a "suggestive song" in front of her violin teacher who raped her while on a school trip, a court heard.

Malcolm Layfield, 63, denies raping an 18-year-old from Chetham's School of Music in the early 1980s.

She denied she willingly had sex in his car during a trip to Cornwall at Manchester Crown Court.

On the night of the alleged rape, she agreed she performed a song as part of a cabaret to mark the end of the trip.

'Raunchy song'

Benjamin Myers QC, representing Mr Layfield, said to the complainant: "You put yourself centre stage in a highly sexualised song directed straight at Mr Layfield?"

The woman replied: "Mr Layfield said I want you to do a cabaret and I want you to sing."

She denied trying to impress him and said she could have chosen "a raunchy song" such as Hey Big Spender.

Mr Meyers read to the jury the opening lyrics of the song she performed - the Masochism Song by Tom Lehrer - which, he put to her, were "quite suggestive".

The song goes: "I ache for the touch of your lips dear/But much more for the touch of your whips dear/You can raise welts like nobody else/As we dance to the Masochism Tango."

The complainant responded: "It does not matter what people sing or choose to wear, this is not an invitation to rape."

Mr Myers said it would not be disputed his client pursued a series of relationships with female students and it was accepted by him that this was "inappropriate".

The victim would have known Mr Layfield had a reputation for getting involved with female students by the time of the trip, the court was told.

Mr Myers said: "You knew perfectly well he was turning his attention towards you and you were prepared to cultivate that?"

'Extremely influential'

The woman replied: "No."

The jury heard Mr Layfield provided "strong alcoholic punch" on the final night of the trip.

His alleged victim is said to have escaped his attentions as she got into her sleeping bag upstairs but recalled him telling her to get up.

She next remembered getting into his car "in the middle of the night" and driving to a beach, but could not recall how she got there.

Asked why she didn't stay in bed, the complainant said: "I wish I had. Again it's refusing something from someone who is extremely influential."

She told the court no violence or threats were used to get her in the car but she "did not want anything sexual to happen".

She did not make a complaint at the time because she convinced herself it was an affair and later went on to have consensual sex with him over a six-week period, it was said.

Mr Layfield, of Castle Quay, Castlefield, also taught at Manchester's Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM).

The trial continues.

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