Rape trial of Manchester music schools teacher

A violin teacher has denied he raped an 18-year-old girl who was his student at a music school in Manchester.

Live updates

Former music school violin teacher found not guilty of rape

A violin teacher who worked at schools in Manchester has been cleared of raping an 18-year-old female student in the early 1980s.

Malcolm Layfield Credit: Press Association

Malcolm Layfield, 63, had denied the Crown's allegation that he used his "power and influence" to commit the offence against the teenager in the back of his car.

The defendant admitted he pursued a number of consensual sexual relationships with students throughout the 1980s which his trial heard were said to be "common knowledge" in classical musical circles in Manchester and further afield.


Teacher didn't think he was 'doing anything wrong' by having sex with teenage pupil

On the night of the alleged rape, Layfield said the complainant performed a song in an end-of-course cabaret which he found "suggestive" and had a "flirtatious element to it".

He told the court: "I did think she was giving off vibes and there was a spark between us."

The complainant went to bed but he asked a male student to get her up and she came down "perfectly willingly", he said.

He asked her if she wanted to go for a drive and she agreed, said the defendant.

His barrister asked: "Any idea where this was leading to?"

Layfield replied: "No, not to sex. But I did fancy her and I liked the idea of being in a car with her on our own.

"We sat and talked and then I said to her do you want to get in the back of the car and she said 'OK, I will'."

Mr Myers asked: "Did you feel you were doing anything wrong?"

The defendant said: "I was honestly not thinking I was doing anything wrong at the time.

"We started kissing and one thing led to another and we ended up having sex."

Mr Myers said: "After the sex, what happened?"

He replied: "We sat in the car for a while. We may have dozed off, we stayed the whole evening.

"At one point we got out of the car and watched the sunset come up."

He said their relationship eventually "petered out" but ended amicably and he said she even presented him with a set of antique gold cufflinks when she left the RNCM.

Violin teacher got girl drunk on 'strong' punch before rape - court told

Denying rape - Malcolm Layfield Credit: PA Pictures

It is said violin teacher Malcolm Layfield drove his victim - allegedly drunk on "strong alcoholic punch" made by the defendant - in the middle of the night to an isolated spot and was determined to have sex with her "come what may".

The complainant says she "gave in" but then went on to have consensual sex with him over the following six weeks as she continued her studies at the RNCM.

She alleges she was under his "influence and power" as Layfield threatened to take work opportunities away from her if she changed tutors.

Layfield, a former principal lead violin of the Manchester Camerata who also formed his own chamber ensemble, told the jury that he was not in a position to "destroy people's careers" and neither did he encourage students to get drunk.

Back to top

Latest ITV News reports