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Woodford music tutor facing lengthy jail term for indecent assaults

PUBLISHED: 14:42 26 November 2010

Michael Crombie

Michael Crombie

Archant

A music teacher who submerged a pupil in a bath to satisfy his fetish for watching girls breathe underwater was today found guilty of 26 counts of indecent assault.

The youngster Michael Crombie ducked in his pink bathtub was one of eight schoolgirls he molested during private “music lessons”.

The 73-year-old local choir leader made eight films of his perverted exploits including a “highlights tape” of the naked girl struggling for air as he holds her down.

The Rotary Club member further indulged his water fetish by inviting the girl and her friend to clear his garden pond wearing shorts before hosing and rubbing down their muddy legs.

He also groped several other girls during piano and singing lessons between 1991 and 2002 at his home in Monkhams Avenue, Woodford Green.

Crombie, who retired from teaching in two Redbridge schools in 1990, is feared to have assaulted many other girls.

It emerged today that at least 15 other potential victims have contacted police since his trial began.

Crombie claimed the bathtub lessons were “bubbling” exercises to help his pupil hold long notes on the recorder.

The leader of the Cantori Vocal Ensemble choir, which has featured on BBC radio, also denied preying on the other girls in his charge.

But jurors at Snaresbrook Crown Court unanimously convicted Crombie of all charges.

Remanding Crombie in custody until December 21, Judge Inigo Bing said: “The jury has found you guilty on compelling evidence.

“These counts are so serious that a lengthy custodial sentence is inevitable.”

Crombie was convicted of 26 counts of indecent assault, seven counts of making indecent images of a child and possessing indecent images of a child.


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