Former Shropshire choirmaster jailed for indecently assaulting young boys

A former Shropshire choirmaster has received a 20 month prison sentence for indecently assaulting a child 40 years ago.

The historic abuse came to light when John Derrett, a music teacher, was arrested for possession of indecent images of children last year.

During a police interview he confessed that he had sexually abused three boys from November 1977 to November 1980 while working in the Whitchurch area.

The prosecuting barrister Mr Robert Edwards, told the court: “In December 2016 the defendant was arrested by police in Humberside as attention had been drawn to him over concerns that he was in possession off indecent images of children. He was subsequently prosecuted and jailed for 12 months.

“During the course of that interview he volunteered that he was responsible for historic offences. He disclosed that he had been a church choir leader and the offences were while he had been working in schools in the Shropshire area.

“He gave details of three children, all would now be adults. Only one of them them was traced and it is only he who has made a statement of complaint.”

At the hearing in Shrewsbury Crown Court, Mr Edwards said that the victim recalled that he was aged 13 to 15 when he was assaulted on a number of occasions when they were alone in Derrett’s home.

Derrett met the victim through choir rehearsals and later offered him music lessons. The victim described the offences as "occasional and sporadic".

Mr Bernard Porter, defending, said Derrett admitted that he was attracted to young boys and that he knew it was “grossly illegal, but it seemed to be the way he was wired, it certainly wasn’t a lifestyle choice”.

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