Violin teacher jailed for sexual abuse at top Catholic school

The Times

Andrew Norfolk
March 29 2017
The Times

A music teacher at Ampleforth College, a leading Roman Catholic public school, has been jailed for sexually abusing a girl when they met for violin lessons.

Dara de Cogan’s traumatised victim, who had seen him as a substitute father, feared she would be “thrown into hell”, a court heard.

De Cogan, who is now 58, started grooming the girl when she was 13, York crown court heard. He was a musician of international acclaim who was appointed head of strings at the boarding school in North Yorkshire in 2004.

The married man, who has two adopted daughters, told the child that he loved her and kissed her whenever he got the chance. They saw each other nearly every day at school, where the abuse took place. Outside of term time, he drove her to secluded parts of the countryside, where it continued.

The girl, who is now in her twenties, said in a victim impact statement read to the court that her musical ambitions after university had been thwarted by what she had gone through.

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