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Shot ex-violin teacher Chris Ling was to be charged with 77 sex offences

Published 02/09/2015

Chris Ling was a suspect in an investigation into abuse allegations at Chetham's School of Music
Chris Ling was a suspect in an investigation into abuse allegations at Chetham's School of Music

A former violin teacher who shot himself dead as officers came to arrest him at his US home was set to be charged with 77 historical sex offences.

Chris Ling, 58, faced extradition to the UK to answer allegations he sexually abused a number of female pupils at Chetham's School of Music in Manchester in the 1980s.

He was found at his home in Sherman Oaks in Los Angeles when officers from the US Marshals Office arrived to detain him early on Tuesday morning.

Ling moved to the United States in the early 1990s and ran a talent management agency.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) confirmed that it intended to charge Ling, upon extradition, with 77 offences.

Eleven complainants had provided witness statements to GMP and were prepared to give evidence in court, reported The Guardian.

Senior Investigating Officer Jamie Daniels said: "For over two years we have been working on what has been an extremely complex and sensitive investigation into Christopher Ling following a series of disclosures made by complainants. It was our intention to charge him when he arrived in the United Kingdom.

"I'd like to pay tribute to the victims in this case. They have shown tremendous courage by coming forward and embarking on what has been an emotional and arduous journey and my investigation team and I are privileged to have been given the chance to support them in this regard.

"There has of course been an expression of frustration and disappointment at this news by those affected as they will not get their chance to see justice be done, but we will continue to offer them support at what is understandably a very difficult time."

A spokeswoman for the US Marshals Office said: "A team of US Marshals went to arrest Mr Ling and before they could do so he shot himself."

She said officers went to his home with a provisional arrest warrant and confirmed that it was likely he would have been extradited back to the UK.

Last January, Greater Manchester Police said it was considering extradition proceedings after a file of evidence in relation to complaints about Mr Ling had been submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service.

They added that he had "failed to return to the United Kingdom" after being invited to be questioned over the complaints.

The allegations against Ling were part of a wide-ranging inquiry called Operation Kiso into claims of historical abuse at Chetham's and the Royal Northern College of Music, also based in Manchester.

A number of former teachers have already been prosecuted.

The investigation began in the fall-out from the high-profile sex abuse trial in 2013 of Michael Brewer, the former music director at Chetham's.

Brewer was jailed for six years after he was found guilty of indecently assaulting ex-pupil Frances Andrade, 48, when she was aged 14 and 15.

Mrs Andrade killed herself at her home in Guildford, Surrey, a week after giving evidence against him.

The trial heard historical allegations that sexual activity between teachers and pupils at Chetham's was not uncommon.

A CPS spokesman said: "The CPS sought the extradition of Christopher Ling and a request was passed to the US State Department by the Home Office in June 2014 after a district judge issued two warrants for his arrest in the UK.

"Had he been extradited, Ling would have faced 77 charges of indecent assault on 11 girls aged between nine and 15 alleged to have taken place in Reading and Greater Manchester between 1983 and 1990."

It is understood that Ling lived in Reading during the 1980s.

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