London

Ex-music teacher admits to sex attacks in London schools

Michael Crombie
Image caption Crombie admitted to carrying out sex attacks between 1964 and 2007

A former music teacher has pleaded guilty to carrying out sex attacks on children at two east London schools.

Michael Crombie, 75, of Woodford Green, north London, admitted 47 counts of indecently assaulting children between 1964 and 1993.

He also admitted at the Old Bailey two counts of sexual activity with a child between 2005 and 2007.

The charges relate to 16 victims at Beal Grammar School and Wanstead High School, where he was a teacher.

He will be sentenced on 25 January.

Crombie pleaded not guilty to two counts of rape and a further 26 counts of indecent assault. These counts were ordered to lie on file, the court was told.

'Awful crimes'

He is currently serving a prison sentence after being convicted at Snaresbrook Crown Court in 2010 for inappropriately touching nine students between 1993 and 2001.

The seven-year jail term was reduced to five on appeal and he was due for release in May 2013.

A spokeswoman from Redbridge Council said: "We recognise that this has been terribly distressing for the victims and their families and we thank them for their courage in bringing these matters to light.

"We are appalled that a teacher abused his position and committed such awful crimes.

"These are historical incidents some of which date back to the 1960s.

"The protection of pupils is a top priority for all schools and the local authority in Redbridge."

She said that safeguarding procedures had been "strengthened considerably" in the decades since the offences occurred.

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