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Woodford Green music teacher says girl ‘asked’ to lay naked in bath

PUBLISHED: 14:45 19 November 2010

Michael Crombie

Michael Crombie

Archant

A MUSIC tutor accused of satisfying his water “fetish” by submerging a pupil underwater today claimed the schoolgirl asked to lay naked in his bathtub.

Michael Crombie, 73, of Monkhams Avenue, Woodford Green, allegedly filmed himself dunking the youngster so he could watch her breathe during “music lessons” at his home.

The former schoolmaster is said to have made eight films – including a “highlights tape” – of the nude girl when she was aged between 10 and 12.

The choir leader is further charged with molesting eight other girl pupils between 1991 and 2002 during private tuition sessions.

But Crombie told jurors the naked bathtub exercises had been the schoolgirl’s idea after she had performed similar routines with her mother.

Crombie said the girl told him that her improving ability to blow long notes on her recorder was down to holding her breath during bath time sessions at home.

“She told me the timings that obviously her mother had done and they were figures I felt were pretty remarkable for a young girl,” Crombie told Snaresbrook Crown Court.

“I suppose I expressed some doubt about these timings.

“She said, there and then: ‘I will show you’.

“She made it quite clear to me, there was no doubt, she was not the least bit bothered about a costume.”

Crombie rejected the prosecution case that the girl started off wearing a swimsuit which he gradually urged her to take off and later go nude.

He said he had only placed his hands on pupils’ chests and stomachs during “breathing exercises”.

Crombie, denies 28 counts of indecent assault, seven counts of making indecent images of a child and possessing indecent images of a child.

The trial continues.


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