The former head of music at a Lincolnshire church, and a local school, has been jailed for six years for the “heinous abuse” of a former pupil and chorister fifty years ago.
Peter Burness, 84, was joint head of music at St James’ Church and King Edward VI Grammar School in Louth from 1966 until 1996.
Burness appeared at Lincoln Crown Court last week and, despite denying the charges, he was found guilty of six counts of indecent assault of a male in the 1970s. After a trial, he was jailed and was also placed on the Sex Offenders Register for Life.
The Diocese of Lincoln said it was shocked and saddened to hear about the abuse of a former Cordeaux School pupil and chorister at St James’ Church in Louth in the 1970s.
Bishop Stephen Conway, Acting Bishop of Lincoln, said: “The Diocese of Lincoln was shocked and saddened to hear about the heinous abuse of a former Cordeaux School pupil and chorister at St James’ Church in Louth in the 1970s perpetrated by Peter Burness.
“During this time Burness was joint Head of Music at St James’ Church and King Edward VI Grammar School in Louth (from 1966 till 1996).
“The safety of everyone who attends our churches is of paramount importance and the Diocese of Lincoln, along with the Diocese of York has worked closely with police and statutory authorities throughout this case.
“I would like to encourage anyone to come forward who may have been affected by this, or any other case. Support is available, and the diocese is committed to listening and taking action.
Lincolnshire Police Detective Chief Inspector Reid Martin, Protecting Vulnerable People, said: “My thoughts are with the victim of this horrendous offence and I thank them for their strength in being able to report this.
“The offender took a calculated advantage from a position of trust over a child. These offences may have taken place in the 1970s but even now, fifty years later in 2022, we will support victims and prosecute offenders to bring them to justice.”