Conductor Robert King jailed

BBC News reports ~ A leading British orchestra conductor has been jailed for nearly four years for sexually abusing young boys. Robert King (left), 46, assaulted five youngsters, one when he was 12 years old, after plying them with alcohol, Isleworth Crown Court was told.

One of the boys said he was "sexually used" for years at King's home in Ealing, west London. Mr King, of Alpherton, Suffolk, was convicted of 14 counts of indecent assault between 1982 and 1995. The court was told he was very well-known in musical circles and was in a position to advance the careers of the boys.

The conductor has worked on film music for Ridley Scott's Kingdom Of Heaven, Shrek 2 and The Da Vinci Code. He had also presented programmes for the BBC and toured the world with several orchestras.

Imposing sentence totalling three years nine months, Judge Hezlett Colgan told King: "Your victims were in their early or mid-teens at the time. "In the case of four of them you were a trusted mentor and friend and trusted completely by their families."

Sarah Whitehouse, prosecuting, said three of his victims were under 16 and claimed some of the attacks occurred "under the guise of some sort of game, such as a mock wrestle". She told the court each of the five he allegedly targeted kept quiet about what had happened for many years. All were now adults and although some of their recollections might now be "hazy", the accounts they had given police contained "very similar features".

King, who was cleared of one count of indecent assault, told the court that all those levelling allegations against him were "absolute" liars.

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