A British teacher accused of sexually abusing young girls at a prestigious music school has killed himself in the US as police tried 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 10 former pupils alleged Mr Ling had assaulted them during their time at the school.
Referred to as “Ling’s Strings”, the group of 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.