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Bradford pianist to face more allegations of sex abuse
6:00am Saturday 19th October 2013 in News
Concert pianist John Briggs, charged with historic sexual abuse of boys, is facing further allegations relating to two new complainants, a court heard yesterday.
During the ten-minute hearing, prosecutor Nick Worsley told the court the musician was already facing five charges, but there were now further matters relating to two more complainants. Mr Worsley said the matters were to be contested and a three-week trial slot had been allocated in February.
He said there would be an application to join all the charges in a ten-count indictment. Briggs’s barrister, Nick Askins, said the issue would be denial that the offences occurred.
At a previous court hearing Briggs had indicated he would plead not guilty to three charges of indecently assaulting boys under 16, one charge of indecently assaulting a male aged 16 or over and one charge of committing an act of gross indecency with or towards a boy under the age of 14.
Those offences are alleged to have taken place at his home in the early 1990s, and involved two boys under 16 and a male over that age.
Last month West Yorkshire Police confirmed Briggs had been arrested, interviewed and released on bail in connection with a new allegation of sexually touching a male in the late 1970s.
The latest alleged victims contacted police after press coverage of the earlier proceedings.
Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC fixed a plea and case management hearing for all matters to be heard on December 13.
Briggs, who was awarded the MBE a decade ago for his community work, was granted unconditional bail.
The burly, balding and bespectacled pianist, who spoke only to confirm his name, was told by the judge it was essential he attended court for the hearing, and his trial.