Former music teacher jailed for 40 years for child abuse

Mark Burgess
Mark Burgess was charged with assaulting 13 children over a period of nearly four decades

A music teacher from Portsmouth has been jailed for 40 years for abusing a number of children under his care.

Mark Burgess, from Hilsea, was charged with assaulting 13 children over a period of nearly four decades.

The court heard how Burgess had previously been a music teacher as well as a choir master.

The 68-year-old will serve a minimum of 21 years in jail before being considered for parole.

Mark Burgess ran choirs in Westbourne, Sussex, and Portsmouth.

The court heard that, over the years, his attention became "fixed" on a series of children.

Burgess then took advantage of his positions in the school and choir settings in order to get closer to these children.

Emotive statements from the now-adult survivors, were read out in court.

His Honour Judge William Ashworth, commended the survivors for coming forward, and on the "dignity, restraint and stunning openness" in which they spoke about their experiences.

After sentencing, Detective Inspector Adam Edwards said: “Burgess made a choice to exploit his position and manipulate certain scenarios that would give him the opportunity to carry out these heinous and evil acts." 

Operation Marmion is Hampshire Constabulary’s dedicated team who tackle non-recent child sex abuse perpetrated within an institution or by a person of prominence.

The NSPCC is encouraging anyone who has been a victim of child sexual abuse to contact police on 101 where you can speak with our specialist detectives in confidence.