Concert pianist to stand trial over abuse claims

A WORLD-FAMOUS concert pianist is to stand trial in the new year over alleged sex abuse which dates back more than 40 years.

John Briggs appeared before Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC at Bradford Crown Court yesterday morning and entered not guilty pleas to a total of ten allegations covering a period between March 1969 and October 1993.

None of the five complainants can be identified for legal reasons and the 65-year-old musician’s trial, which is expected to last about three weeks, is due to start on February 17.

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According to the charges, four of the complainants 
were boys aged between 10 and 15 at the time of the alleged abuse.

The fifth complainant is described in the charge as a “male person”.

Briggs, of Little Lane, East Morton near Keighley, formally entered not guilty pleas yesterday to nine charges of indecent assault and one allegation of indecency with a child. Judge Durham Hall extended the defendant’s bail until his trial.

Briggs is a world renowned classical pianist and composer who has played at concerts across the globe.