Court hears pianist John Briggs told police he did not sexually assault young boys

Musician John Briggs

Musician John Briggs

First published in News
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World-renowned concert pianist John Briggs, on trial accused of indecently assaulting young boys, had “gay tendencies” but was never in physical contact with a male person, a jury was told today.

He told the police he had been very happily married for 25 years and had no sexual relationship with anyone but his wife.

Briggs, 65, of Little Lane, East Morton, Keighley, denies ten allegations involving two 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.

Today Bradford Crown Court heard that Briggs was interviewed by the police seven times, beginning in January 2012.

He told detectives he had “gay tendencies” and used pornography.

Asked by an officer: “Would you describe yourself as bisexual then?” Briggs replied: “Yes, probably.”

He said he was never alone with any boy from the Sea Cadets during his time as President and Chairman of the organisation.

“My job was to raise money and be a figurehead. I never met any cadet in private,” he said.

Briggs said he never invited Cadets to his home to do odd jobs, including cleaning out the pond in his garden, telling the police he had employed a gardener for 30 years.

He said he did not have a camcorder at the time a complainant alleges he was asked to strip naked and filmed while he was sexually assaulted.

He said no Cadet was ever allowed into his home and they must have looked through the windows at barbecues he hosted there to see the layout of the inside of the house.

Briggs said he never asked his piano students to lie on the floor during lessons to do exercises to help with posture and breathing at the instrument.

He said that was not a technique a musician would ever need to use.

Briggs said all the allegations against him were unfounded.

The trial continues.

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