A British teacher accused of sexually abusing young girls at a prestigious music school has killed himself in the US as officers attempted to arrest him.

British teacher accused of sexually abusing young girls at a prestigious music school has killed himself in the US as officers attempted to arrest him. Christopher Ling, 57, was found dead by United States marshals when they entered his Los Angeles home at around 6am on Wednesday morning. Mr Ling, who taught the violin at Chetham’s School of Music until the summer of 1990, faced 72 counts of child sex abuse. “We attempted to serve an arrest warrant on Christopher Ling and, in the course of that process, he shot himself,” Laura Vega, a marshals service spokesperson, told the Guardian. She added that it was believed officers were en route to his room when he shot himself. The former teacher had reinvented himself as a show business talent manager, residing with his family in a three-storey home in Sherman Oaks, after leaving the UK in the early 1990s. Several weeks ago US authorities agreed to extradite Mr Ling after the British Crown Prosecution Service sought to return him to the UK. Allegations against Mr Ling emerged after the trial of Michael Brewer, the school’s former director of music, who was convicted of sexual assault. In 2013, the Guardian reported that ten former pupils alleged Mr Ling had assaulted them during their time at the school. Referred to as “Ling’s strings”, the women claimed the music teacher forced pupils as young as 13 to strip naked, would spank their naked bottoms, and groomed them during their lessons. When approached for comment in 2013, Mr Ling refused to speak to journalists. If you or a loved one have been subject to abuse please do not hesitate to contact Charles Derham our specialist child abuse solicitor. We will treat any communications with the strictest of confidence.


Charles has considerable specialist experience in pursuing claims for compensation for those who have been abused in childhood. His specific expertise means that he is recognised locally, nationally and internationally for his work which has taken him all over the world including, USA, Australia and New Zealand.

He is also recognised for his significant involvement in the high profile litigation against St Georges School (Anglemoss Limited) and Cyntwell High School. These cases involved a staggering number of individuals who pursued those responsible whom despite heavily defending the claims brought against them settled by way of out of court settlements.

Charles regularly features in local and national press and he is often asked to provide his professional opinion and commentary on relevant abuse law issues and developments on radio and television broadcasts. Such broadcasts include BBC South Today, BBC Wales, ITV and ITN News.

Charles is a member of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers.

You can follow Charles on Twitter and Facebook.

Charles obtained his Law degree at Kingston University, before successfully completing his Legal Practice Course. He trained and qualified with Verisona Law beginning his specialism in the field of child abuse claims. He received his higher rights of Audience in 2012 making him one of the youngest Solicitor-Advocates in the country who is able to represent his clients in the High Court. Charles is head of the abuse team who collectively have secured compensation for hundreds of victims of abuse.

He began diversifying in to other aspects of abuse law and his team are one of the very few in the country who specialise in claims against social services.

He is involved in complex group action litigation and also represents a number of individuals and who are pursuing private companies, local authorities and perpetrators in pursuit of their justice.

Charles has strong contacts with some of the most prominent barristers who advise on abuse claims including a number of QC’s. He also has robust connections with highly qualified expert witnesses he instructs in support of those who he represents.

  • Child abuse claims
  • Claims against social services
  • Complex/Catastrophic Clinical Negligence claims

"Thank you for all your much appreciated hard work. I will truly never forget your kindness towards me. Your patience, respect and understanding at all times was beyond words. The sincere compassion shown meant more to me than words could ever express. This firm will forever hold a special place in my heart."

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