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Former music teacher facing multiple charges of rape and indecent assault has trial postponed so he can finish touring


A former Guildhall School of Music and Drama teacher facing multiple charges of rape and indecent assault has had his trial postponed so he can finish touring.

Philip Pickett, 63, a prominent classical musician and early music specialist from Lyneham near Chipping Norton, appeared at the Old Bailey on Monday accused of a string of historic sex crimes over a 20-year period. He faces three charges of rape and one of attempted rape, and eight counts of indecent assault and one of actual bodily harm, said to have occurred between 1974 and 1988. The nine alleged female victims include a girl who was under 14 at the time of the alleged crime.

His barrister argued that to delay the case would not be a problem. Jonathan Barnard, defending, told the London court: “My client is a world-famous musician and therefore earns his living on a job-to-job basis and has tours across the globe throughout the autumn – but the season slows down in the new year.

“The Crown doesn’t object – the allegations are at the latest 20 years old and the earliest, 40 years old.”

The Independent on Sunday first revealed Mr Pickett as the former Guildhall teacher facing rape allegations after he was arrested in December last year and he had been due to stand trial in October. He worked as a freelance classical music teacher at the prestigious school between 1972 and 1977 and founded the early music ensembles New London Consort and Musicians of the Globe. He has also collaborated with members of folk rock band Fairport Convention.

Mr Pickett spoke only to confirm his name during the brief preliminary hearing. He was released on conditional bail to return to the court on 30 June and enter his pleas to the charges. If he denies them, he will face a trial beginning on 5 January next year .