Bingley concert pianist John Briggs 'asked student to lie next to him on bed' court hears (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Complainant tells court his former piano teacher was naked underneath dressing gown
A former piano student who says he was molested by musician John Briggs has described how he felt repulsed following an incident at his Bingley “pad”.
During a police interview the complainant, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, revealed how Briggs would put his hand down his trousers and also pull down the then schoolboy’s underpants as the youngster tried to do exercises aimed at strengthening his stomach muscles to improve his posture.
The complainant said he felt uncomfortable and embarrassed although Briggs never touched his genitals, but he finally spoke out after an incident in the attic at the concert pianist’s home.
The man, who had started going for lessons with Briggs from the age of 14, said he had been invited round to his home one morning so he could do some extra practice for his Grade 8 exam.
He described how he arrived at about 9am and Briggs answered the door wearing a full-length pink satin dressing gown.
The complainant said Briggs was a flamboyant character who used unconventional teaching methods and that morning he had gone to his home expecting to be able to practise on his £25,000 Steinway piano.
But he said he got the impression that Briggs had forgotten he was coming and he asked him to follow him upstairs to his living space in the attic.
The complainant said the room had a big white leather corner sofa, a deep-pile carpet, a big television and a massive bed.
The man said he felt “total dread” when Briggs said they should do the stomach exercises while they were there.
The court heard how Briggs allegedly laid on the bed and told the complainant to walk round and lie down alongside him.
The man said he vividly remembered Briggs opening his dressing gown and being naked.
The complainant alleged that Briggs then told him to put his hand on him so he could show him the stomach exercise.
“He got hold of my arm and he brought it over to him and it was that action that really made me think that’s it,” said the complainant.
“I remember saying this isn’t right. I’m not doing this.”
The man said he went down the stairs and out of the house without looking back.
He described Briggs’ living space as being like “a pad” and said he felt repulsed by the incident. “I just recoiled from the whole thing,” he added.
Briggs, 65, of Little Lane, East Morton, denies ten allegations involving two former piano students and three former members of Keighley Sea Cadets. The nine charges of indecent assault on a male person and one of indecency with a child cover a 25-year period beginning in the late 1960s.
The trial continues.