Choirmaster jailed for sexually abusing young boys in West Sussex

A music teacher has been jailed for a series of sex offences against young boys in West Sussex, south London and Germany.

Andrew Simon Wilson from Walton-on-the-Naze in Essex committed the offences during the 1990s, whilst he was a choirmaster at St Margaret’s Church in Warnham.

Wilson, now 57 years old, has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for 19 offences, 16 of which were against three boys between the ages of nine and 14 years old. The offences included:

  • Two cases of indecent assault and two of gross indecency against a boy which took place in Warnham in the mid-1980s
  • Eight cases of indecent assault and two cases of gross indecency on a boy in Warnham in the mid-1980s
  • One case of sexual assault and one case of meeting a child for sexual activity, both relating to a boy between 2008 and 2011, in south London and in Germany whilst on choir tours
  • Three cases of making a total of 1366 indecent images of children

Wilson will be on the sex offenders register for life and was given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO).

The offences in south London and Germany took place whilst Wilson was a choirmaster and music teacher at St Mary’s Church in Beddington, Surrey.

The indecent images were believed to have been taken from the internet and were found during a police search of his address following Wilson’s arrest.

Detective Constable Gemma Nichols, Sussex Police Complex Abuse Unit said:

"Wilson has been a committed and highly capable musician over many years, well known in the world of all-male choirs and choral music. His criminal behaviour involved grooming certain boys in his choirs, singling them out for special treatment, flattering them with his notions of how special they were, and then luring them into a sexual relationship with him.

"Our investigation started three years ago when one of his Warnham victims contacted us via the recently established Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), and we subsequently traced the other two victims.

"We arrested and first interviewed Wilson in September that year, but he denied any wrongdoing and has done so throughout the trial.

"This meant that all three victims had to give their evidence and were subject to cross-examination. We very much admire their courage and fortitude in coming forward, and in supporting the prosecution throughout."

An NSPCC spokesperson said:

"Wilson’s actions were wicked and predatory, robbing his victims of their childhoods.

"Admitting his guilt would have spared them the trauma of reliving their abuse but instead they were forced to recount their experiences in court, paying a heavy emotional toll.

"Cases such as this show that victims can achieve justice no matter how long ago the crime occurred."

This story was originally reported by Spirit FM and the full article can be read here: https://www.spiritfm.net/news/sussex-news/2807136/music-teacher-jailed-for-sexually-abusing-young-boys-in-west-sussex/

If you, or a loved one, have been affected by sexual abuse, please do not hesitate to contact our team of experienced lawyers who will be happy to speak to you about whether it may be possible to bring an abuse claim.


Below is a selection of organisations/instutions/bodies we are frequently instructed to pursue.

Schools

  • Private schools, boarding schools, local authority schools, closed schools, hospital schools.

Charities

  • The Scouts Association, St Johns Ambulance, MIND, the Children’s Society, Barnados.

Private companies

  • Football trainers, judo teachers, dance instructors, swimming instructors, holiday activity centres, nurseries, youth clubs.

Local Authorities/Ministry of Defence

  • County Councils, Borough Councils, City Councils, ILEA, cadets, navy/ army (forces).

National Health Service Trusts/Commissioning Boards/GPs

  • Hospitals, Disability care centres, children’s care providers.

Perpetrators

  • Convicted perpetrators, acquitted perpetrators.

Children’s Homes

  • Respite care, full time children’s home, part-time children’s homes.

Religious Institutions

  • Roman Catholic Church, United Synagogue, Sisters of Nazareth, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian Brothers Order.

Foster Carers

  • Permanent carers, temporary carers

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