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Woodford water fetish child molester ‘may have preyed on more pupils’

PUBLISHED: 16:00 05 December 2010

Michael Crombie

Michael Crombie

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MUSIC teacher Michael Crombie, who has been found guilty of 26 counts of indecent assault, may have preyed on many more victims, police fear.

At least 15 more allegations have been made since the 73-year-old’s trial started.

But the career of Crombie, of Monkhams Avenue, Woodford Green, panned 50 years and he taught hundreds of pupils.

Officers have not said whether the ­latest alleged victims were taught by him privately or were pupils at the two secondary schools where he was also a teacher.

A number of former pupils at one school have contacted the Recorder, claiming they had witnessed, or fallen prey, to the tutors “fetish”.

One parent – whose daughter went to the school in the 1980s – said Crombie was forced out after failing to heed warnings over his behaviour.

The mum said she became aware of his behaviour when her child told her Crombie had kissed her friend on the lips.

She said: “At first I didn’t believe her and I told her not to talk about teachers that way.

“But when she said it again I realised she must be serious. I told the school straight away.”

The parent said she was told that ­Crombie had left the school but that nothing more could be done because the girls would not go to court.

She said: “They were young girls. They didn’t want to go through that. We got him out of the school but we didn’t go far enough.” She said she was “really pleased” that the choirmaster had been found guilty.

A police spokesman said any suggestion that Crombie left the school because of his conduct with pupils “would need to be answered by the school”.

The school said it was unable to comment for fear of prejudicing any police investigation, but added: “The school today is very different from what it was then and it is a great shame to have it linked with a man who committed these offences.

“Our hearts go out to all of the victims.”

Crombie submerged a pupil in a bath to satisfy his fetish for watching girls breathe underwater.

He was convicted last week of 26 counts of indecent assault involving nine girls, seven counts of making indecent images of a child and one of possessing indecent images of a child.

Remanding Crombie in custody until December 21, judge Inigo Bing said: “These counts are so serious that a lengthy custodial sentence is inevitable.”


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