A convicted sex offender has defended his right to perform at a charity church concert in Long Melford.
Conductor Robert King, who served just under two years in jail for indecently assaulting five young musicians between 1982 and 1995, is due to appear at the Holy Trinity Church as part of a concert organised by Music in Country Churches, writes Neil Bracegirdle.
Child abuse charities have claimed the 53-year-old’s return to the spotlight downplays the serious nature of his crime.
Mr King, from Alpheton, said: “I accepted my sentence, and have paid my debt to society.
“Since leaving prison in 2009, I have been fortunate to have the rock-solid love of my family, and the support of friends and colleagues as I have rebuilt my life.”
Mr King, who lives with his wife Viola, has worked on music for a number of well-known films, including Shrek 2 and The Da Vinci Code.
He is expected to appear in an evening show at Holy Trinity on August 30, a morning recital at Alpheton Church the next day and later a second concert at Long Melford with The King’s Consort – a choir he founded.
“Not everyone is given a second chance,” said Mr King. “I have been, and I am grateful for that.”
Richard Kemp, a parish and district councillor for Alpheton and Long Melford, said he could understand why some people were concerned about the appearance of Mr King but he had been punished for his crime.
“If people don’t like it they can show it by not attending,” he said. “The responsibility rests with the organisers and they obviously don’t see a problem.
“People deserve a second chance otherwise everyone who made an error would be left in complete isolation.”