The judge praised the police officers who brought Briggs to justice, saying that victims of sexual abuse were nowadays treated with respect and courtesy.

During the trial, the court heard that a Sea Cadet sexually assaulted by the pianist in 1993 wrote an account of what happened to him and gave it to his mother who alerted the police.

“They did absolutely nothing and that is a disgrace but things have changed,” Judge Durham Hall said.

He publicly commended the officer in the case, Detective Constable Priscilla Haigh, and her colleague, Police Constable Jodie Scatchard.

The judge also praised the Telegraph & Argus after two of Briggs’ victims came forward following early publication of the case by the newspaper.

“I am grateful to the Telegraph & Argus. It is only through sensitive reporting by them of prosecutions such as this that informs people that it is not a witch hunt: it is not made up and it causes mayhem to a lot of people,” he said.

After the case, Detective Inspector Stuart Lyons, of Bradford District CID, said: “Briggs abused his position of trust as a family friend and his status as an internationally renowned concert pianist to carry out these sex attacks on young boys, one of whom was just ten years old.

“We welcome the sentence passed down today by the court and hope it will help to give the victims, who showed great courage in coming forward to report Briggs’ offences, some closure.

“West Yorkshire Police has officers who are specially trained to investigate these offences, historic or otherwise, and will do sensitively and thoroughly to bring the perpetrators to justice.”