A CHURCH organist has been found guilty of sexually assaulting a choirboy more than four decades ago.

Chris Ransome, 64, showed no emotion at Bradford Crown Court when the jury returned its verdict yesterday afternoon.

Ransome, of Southdown Road, Baildon, was a church organist and choirmaster at a church in Bradford when he indecently assaulted the 11-year-old boy on a single occasion in the 1970s.

Ransome, who was in his late teens at the time, put his hand in the child’s sleeping bag during a church choir trip, prosecutor Geraldine Kelly said.

The complainant, now a middle-aged man, told his future wife what Ransome had done and went to the church authorities in 2016.

The jury heard he wanted to look at the church records to see when the choir trip had taken place before revealing what Ransome had done to him.

The man said he was in a camp bed in the church hall when Ransome, who was in the next bed, put his hand in his sleeping bag and touched him indecently.

The jury heard that, although he did not face further charges, Ransome had driven the boy to secluded locations when he was aged 12 to 14 and committed a sex act in front of him on three or four occasions.

The boy was ashamed to tell anyone what Ransome had done but, thirty years later, he confided in a close associate.

His childhood friend, who was on the choir trip, told the court Ransome was telling the complainant sexual stories that night.

He then saw his hand go into the boy’s sleeping bag.

Ransome, who had no previous convictions, had been a parish organist in Wetherby for ten years, the court was told.

After the unanimous guilty verdict was returned, the trial judge, Recorder Patrick Palmer, enlarged Ransome’s bail until the sentencing hearing, to be held early next month.

The Recorder ordered a report from the probation service but warned Ransome he may face a prison sentence.

“Custody has to be an option in a case like this, you must be aware of that,” he told him.

Ransome is due to be sentenced on Friday, November 2.