Violin teacher ‘got pupil, 18, drunk before raping her’
A LEADING violin teacher plied a teenage pupil with whisky during an alcoholfuelled game of sardines then forced her to have sex with him in the back of his car, a jury heard yesterday.
Malcolm Layfield, 63, abused his power as a tutor at the renowned Chetham’s School of Music to rape the 18-yearold, knowing his ability to influence her career prospects would ensure she did not speak out, it was claimed.
She only came forward two decades later in protest at his appointment as head of strings at the Royal Northern College of Music, but did not want to go to court.
More than ten years on, however, she changed her mind, and the teacher went on trial yesterday accused of attacking her in the early 1980s.
Layfield admits having ‘inappropriate’ relationships with a number of students, the jury was told, but insists his six-week affair with his accuser was consensual throughout. The prom- ising young violinist had been taught by Layfield at the Manchester music school from her mid-teens, the court heard, leaving Chetham’s when she was 18.
But that summer she and a number of fellow pupils went to a cottage in Cornwall for a summer school organised by Layfield and his wife.
On the final day Layfield prepared a ‘strong, alcoholic punch’, Peter Cadwallader, prosecuting, told Manchester Crown Court.
He then suggested they played the party game sardines – squeezing into confined spaces around the cottage – the court heard. ‘Alarm bells began ringing when she realised that wherever she tended to end up, the defendant ended up, and at the same time he was plying her with whisky from a bottle that he was carrying,’ Mr Cadwallader said.
Layfield then used her ‘befuddled’ state to persuade her to get into his car, drove her to an isolated spot and attacked her, Mr Cadwallader said.
The woman told police: ‘There was no violence but he was using his strength. I suppose I just gave in and I’ve hated myself for that ever since.’
Mr Cadwallader said Layfield ‘knew perfectly well’ that she was not consenting to sex, but went ahead anyway.
The following term, he said, she began studying at the Royal Northern College of Music, also in Manchester, and still taught by Layfield.
She ‘reluctantly’ had sex with him consensually on a number of occasions, said Mr Cadwallader, adding: ‘He had power over her progress at the college and influence over her future career within the music world.’
Layfield, of Manchester, denies one count of rape.
The trial continues.